Sadiq out as Gerrard looks to January
Umar Sadiq has had his season-long loan with Rangers cancelled, with the misfiring striker returning to Roma in Italy.
The 21-year-old made just five appearances for the Gers but his most notable contribution was diving to try and win a penalty in the Betfred Cup semi-final defeat to Aberdeen.
Sadiq’s exit is expected to clear the way for the Light Blues to go after Liverpool starlet Dominic Solanke. (The Sun)
Senior players intervened to get help for Griff
Senior Celtic players stepped in to urge manager Brendan Rodgers to get professional help for Leigh Griffiths over his personal issues, it was revealed yesterday. Striker Griffiths, described by Rodgers as “vulnerable”, is to take indefinite leave from the champions to deal with his problems. Rodgers acknowledged that matters had come to a head and Griffiths could no longer continue as part of the squad. The Northern Irishman insisted he would not betray confidences about the issues which bedevilled the 28-year-old but, asked about rumours of a gambling problem, he replied: “It’s more than that; it’s a culmination of things.” (The Scotsman)
Hibs ‘down to bare bones’ as duo join injured list
Hibs have several injury problems to contend with ahead of Sunday’s clash with Celtic. Charalampos Mavrias will join David Gray, Marvin Bartley, Paul Hanlon and Thomas Agyepong on the sidelines, while defensive midfielder Mark Milligan is doubtful. Assistant manager Garry Parker suggested last Friday that Gray, Bartley and Hanlon would all have a chance of returning against the league leaders. But Lennon has confirmed that none of them will feature at Easter Road this weekend and also revealed that Mavrias, who has started the past two games at right-back, and midfielder Milligan, have now been added to the list of injured. (Evening News)
Double boost for Hearts
Hearts hope to have John Souttar and Uche Ikpeazu back from injury and playing by the end of January.
No concrete timescale has been set for either player’s return but management at Riccarton expect both to be ready in around six weeks’ time.
Scotland centre-back Souttar underwent hip surgery in October, while Ikpeazu had a foot operation. Both were expected to be absent until March, however their recoveries are progressing quickly. (Evening News)
Levein faces SFA rap over referee comments
Hearts manager Craig Levein is facing a potential two-match touchline ban for comments about referee Bobby Madden after his club’s defeat by Rangers. The Scottish Football Association have issued a notice of complaint against Levein after he labelled Madden’s performance in the 2-1 defeat “abysmal” and stated he felt like Hearts were playing against 13 men. A hearing has been set for December 20 at Hampden Park, with Hearts and Levein expected to vigorously contest the charge. (Evening News)
Naismith ‘could earn fortune’ abroad
Craig Levein has said he would love to keep Steven Naismith at Hearts but admitted the striker could earn far more money abroad. Naismith is on loan from Norwich until summer, when his contract expires and he becomes a free agent.
“I’d love to keep him here,” said Levein. “The financial side is not a massive stumbling block. There are various options that could net him more money than he would get here and he knows that. “He could go to Saudi Arabia for two years and earn fortunes.” (The Scotsman)
Hibs ‘keeper set for talks
Ross Laidlaw is to hold crunch talks with Hibs boss Neil Lennon next month as he seeks answers about his future at Easter Road. The goalkeeper has slipped to third choice behind Adam Bogdan and Ofir Marciano.
The former Raith ‘keeper said: “It’s hard to say exactly what will happen in January. I’ll speak to the manager and the coaching staff and decide the way forward. A lot depends on what happens with Ofir and Adam.
“It’s not a great situation. I want to play games, I feel I’m at a good age and can contribute when given the opportunity. Sitting on the bench waiting for a chance is a young man’s game.” (Deadline News)