Watford duo emerge as Celtic man's rivals for boss role; Newcastle eye free SPFL option against £14m midfielder; Rangers coach in demand: Scottish Football rumour mill

It’s beginning to look a lot like transfer season – but there are more managers on the move than players at the moment.

Rumour Mill, Wedneday May 26, 2021 (Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group)

More than a fifth of Scotland’s senior football structure’s members are operating without a manager after days of upheaval and delays to existing vacancy appointments.

That said, there’s still enough speculation to keep the transfer talk going and the rumour mill turning.

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Here’s what is making the headlines in Scotland’s backpages on Wednesday, May 26 2021.

Hornets and Staggies

Celtic interim manager John Kennedy is in the running for Ross County’s vacancy, but faces competition from former SFA Performance Director Malky MacKay. The former Watford boss could link up with Don Cowie in Dingwall who he signed for the Hornets and Cardiff. (Daily Record)

Crossing the bridge

Cowie though, could be in line for the nearby Inverness job which is also vacant following Neil McCann’s departure abs John Robertson’s change of role. (Scottish Sun)

Comeback crowds

Hearts could be amongst the first clubs in Scotland to play in front of fans just next month after arranging a pre-season friendlies early in the summer plans . (Evening News)

No shared view

Celtic have knocked back an idea from a fans group to grant season ticket holders shares in the club after being locked out of Parkhead this season. The club believes the ‘added value’ promised ast summer has been delivered in a variety of ways and turned down the proposal (Scottish Sun)

In demand

Ryan Gauld is attracting the attentions of Benfica since leaving Portuguese club Farense at the end of his contract. The former Dundee United starlet has admirers in Portugal as well as in the U.K including Southampton. (Daily Record)

Enhancing the ‘journey’Hibs owner Ron Gordon wants to trial pre-match alcohol sales in Scotland. The Peru-born business chief believes close control could enhance the ‘supporter journey’ in the SPFL (The Scotsman)

Coaching call

Kevin Thomson is being considered as Barry Ferguson’s replacement at Kelty Hearts. The former Rangers captain announced his departure from the Fife club after leading them to the SPFL in the weekend’s pyramid playoff. He is expected to join League One Alloa Athletic and former midfield colleague Thomson is being viewed as a potential replacement. (Scottish Sun)

Turf talk

Scottish Premiership teams will re-open the debate on artificial surfaces following the relegation of Hamilton and Kilmarnock. Livingston have the only synthetic surface remaining in the Scottish top flight, with a mjority of 11-1 necessary to pass any policy change. (Daily Mail)

Bairns book closed

Falkirk are believed to be close to appointing a replacement for David McCracken and Lee Miller – but bookmakers believe it’s not market leader Paul Sheerin (Falkirk Herald)

Different Toon

As well as ongoing interest in Kris Ajer, Newcastle could also be keen on Olivier Ntcham from Celtic as an alternative to signing Joe Willock from Arsenal. The loan player has excelled on Tyneside but would command an eight-figure fee. The Frenchman is believed to be available for a cut-price deal – or even free – following his loan spell at Marseille. (TeamTalk)

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