Rumour Mill: Rangers chase Benfica compensation | Stokes blasts ‘lazy’ comments | Bayern ace out of Celtic clash

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Gers want compensation after Benfica cancel friendly; Anthony Stokes hits back at ‘lazy’ remarks and key Bayern Munich man out of Celtic tie

Furious Gers eye compensation after Benfica cancel friendly

Pedro Caixinha has had his plans for the international break disrupted. Picture: SNS Group

Pedro Caixinha has had his plans for the international break disrupted. Picture: SNS Group

Rangers are understood to be demanding around £200,000 in compensation, made up of travel costs and match fee after Benfica pulled out of the planned 2017 Eusebio Cup match in Ontario.

The Portuguese outfit claimed organisers Elite Soccer Entertainment had breached ‘contractual commitments’ just days before Rangers were due to fly out to Canada.

Rangers have contacted Benfica demanding an explanation and will now spend the international break in Glasgow. (Scottish Sun)

Stokes dismisses ‘lazy’ jibes

Hibs striker Anthony Stokes has dismissed remarks from critics describing him as lazy, insisting: “You look at the game and tell me if I’m lazy.”

The former Celtic ace has been accused of laziness throughout his career, including from Republic of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill, but the Irishman isn’t letting the comments get to him.

He said: “I look at my stats after games and I always cover a decent amount of ground. I did it when I was with Celtic as well. I didn’t have a pre-season but I feel I’m getting up to speed now.” (Scottish Sun)

Bayern ace ‘out of Celtic clash’

Bayern Munich winger Franck Ribery is likely to miss the Champions League group clash with Celtic after limping out of the 2-2 draw with Hertha Berlin at the weekend.

The Frenchman appeared to pick up a nasty injury with Bayern sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic telling ESPN: “We hope it isn’t too bad but it doesn’t look good. The doctor couldn’t examine at first because he was in so much pain.”

Arjen Robben also sustained an injury in the Bundesliga clash, and caretaker boss Willy Sagnol has just one match left before the visit of Celtic, with numerous Bayern stars on international duty this week. (ESPN)

Arnason baffled by lack of Dons call-ups

Kari Arnason is hoping to spend the next week playing his part in getting Iceland to next year’s World Cup finals in Russia but is surprised none of his Aberdeen team-mates are on a similar mission with Scotland.

The Icelandic ace is puzzled by 
the lack of interest Gordon Strachan has shown in Graeme Shinnie and Kenny McLean as Scotland attempt to end their lengthy exile from major tournaments.

Arnason said: “They are definitely knocking on the door. They are both capable players at international level. I don’t understand why they’re not involved, to be honest.” (The Scotsman)

Cowie to take injection for injury

Hearts midfielder Don Cowie will have an injection later this week in an attempt to cure a hamstring injury.

The 34-year-old missed Saturday’s defeat against Dundee with the problem – which stems from an issue in his back – and hopes a jag will help it subside.

He is expected to resume training later next week and will be assessed by medical staff at Riccarton ahead of Hearts’ trip to Ross County after the international break. (Evening News)

Jig’s up as McCulloch exits Killie

Lee McCulloch has left his role as manager of Kilmarnock by mutual consent.

The Rugby Park side, who are yet to win in the league this season, lost 2-0 at home to Ross County on Saturday and following a board meeting, the two parties have decided to go their separate ways.

McCulloch has only been in charge for three months on a permanent basis. He replaced Lee Clark, who left to join in Bury in February. (The Scotsman)

Brown is ‘Scotland’s best manager’

Colin Hendry reckons Craig Brown might be the best Scotland manager of all time despite Gordon Strachan’s results putting him ahead of the man who led the country to two major tournaments back-to-back.

Hendry said: “It may be statistically accurate to say that Gordon Strachan has gone ahead of Craig but it just shows you that statistics don’t paint an accurate picture.

“Craig took us to two major tournaments back to back. There is a good argument to say he has been the best Scotland manager we’ve had, so Gordon has got some work to do to emulate his achievements but I hope he can.” (The Scotsman)

Tierney can be Celtic’s Ashley Cole, claims Toure

Celtic coach Kolo Toure believes Kieran Tierney can be the Parkhead side’s answer to his former Arsenal team-mate Ashley Cole.

Toure said: “Kieran reminds me a lot of Ashley Cole in the way he bombs up and downs the flanks and in the way he is also so physically strong. He is not the tallest but he is a fighter and he is strong.

“He crosses, gets back and defends. He is a very, very good player. Can he reach Ashley’s level one day? Yes, of course. He has such great potential.” (Daily Record)

NEWS IN BRIEF

• Matt Ritchie has pulled out of the Scotland squad for the crunch qualifiers with Slovakia and Slovenia

• Gerard Pique has admitted he may be forced to quit the Spanish national team over the treatment of his fellow Catalan citizens over the weekend

• Kenny Miller starred for, and captained, the Rangers development side to a 5-2 win over a Brentford XI at the weekend