Rumour Mill: Old Firm eye Sunderland youngster | Murty at risk if Ayr beat Gers | Celtic injury boost

Scottish football gossip: Celtic and Rangers linked with Sunderland midfielder; Graeme Murty's job could be on the line if Rangers lose to Ayr and boost for Celtic ahead of Zenit clash

Old Firm linked with Sunderland youngster

Celtic and Rangers have both been linked with Sunderland midfielder Ethan Robson.

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The 21-year-old has made a handful of first-team appearances for the Black Cats this season as well as turning out for the club’s Under-23 side.

Ethan Robson is reportedly a target for both Celtic and Rangers. Picture: Getty Images

And he could be available for just £150,000 instead of his market value of £2 million thanks to cross-border FIFA rules on compensation. (Various)

Dalziel: Murty must beat Ayr for job’s sake

Gordon Dalziel believes any hopes Graeme Murty has of being Rangers manager beyond this season will be over if his side are eliminated from the Scottish Cup by Ayr United.

Ex-Ger and Ayr boss Dalziel reckons the Scottish Cup is the only trophy that Rangers can possibly claim this term.

Ethan Robson is reportedly a target for both Celtic and Rangers. Picture: Getty Images

Dalziel insists that to go out to League 1 Ayr would end Murty’s chances of claiming the Rangers job on a permanent basis. (The Scotsman)

Injury boost for Celtic

Brendan Rodgers is hopeful of having Tom Rogic and Stuart Armstrong fit for the first leg against Zenit St Petersburg, while Patrick Roberts could be in contention for the second leg in Russia.

Rogic hasn’t played since December 5 while Armstrong underwent surgery on a hernia problem in early January. Roberts has been out since the end of November with a hamstring strain.

But while next week’s game could come too soon for Roberts, Rogic and Armstrong are pushing for inclusion in the squad. (Scottish Sun)

Levein reveals striker hunt

Hearts are in talks with two unnamed strikers as manager Craig Levein tries to reinforce his forward line through the free agent market.

Levein is negotiating with one British and one foreign forward but has yet to decide which one is the best option.

Finalising a deal before Saturday’s Scottish Cup fifth-round tie with St Johnstone is unlikely. If discussions reach a successful conclusion, the new man is expected to arrive next week, Levein says. (Evening News)

SFA dragging feet over Smith

The SFA could lose out on Walter Smith - over a delay in organising face-to-face discussions.

Despite an official approach at the start of this week, 69-year-old Smith - who was installed as the SFA’s shock favourite to succeed Gordon Strachan - is yet to hear from the SFA and is understood to be unimpressed with the situation.

Smith is believed to have made it clear at the time of the original approach that he didn’t want a lengthy process, and even lambasted the delay with Michael O’Neill’s approach prior to being contacted. (Scottish Sun)

Petrie wants McLeish

SFA vice-president Rod Petrie reportedly favours former Hibs and Rangers boss Alex McLeish for the Scotland job, although it is understood that his fellow board members are backing Walter Smith.

Petrie is in line to succeed Alan McRae as SFA president next year. (Various)

Jones: I’d have loved Rangers move

Vinnie Jones has revealed Rangers were holding secret talks with him during the Graeme Souness era, and that he would have ‘loved’ to have played in Scotland.

Speaking on talkSPORT, Jones said Joey Barton ‘had my dream move’.

Jones added: “I was having sort of secret talks with [Rangers]. They went to Wimbledon and Sam Hammam wasn’t going to sell me. Then all of a sudden they bought Terry Hurlock who I really admired as a player.” (talkSPORT)