Monday's Scottish gossip

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FOOTBALL GOSSIP

Football authorities are facing renewed calls to reconsider the timings of Old Firm games amid predictions of and preparations for disorder at the first clash between Celtic and Rangers in nearly three years, the Scottish League Cup semi-final at Hampden Stadium on Sunday 1 February.(The Herald)

The largest pub chain in Britain, JD Wetherspoon, has confirmed that none of its Glasgow outlets will show next month's League Cup semi-final between Celtic and Rangers over fears of violence. (The Scotsman)

Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy has written to Prime Minister David Cameron asking for Old Firm heroes John Greig, of Rangers, and Billy McNeill, of Celtic, to be put forward for knighthoods, saying the honours are "well-deserved" and "overdue".(Daily Record)

Freddy Shepherd, who was ousted by Mike Ashley as Newcastle United chairman in 2007, says the Sports Direct owner has backed Rangers into a corner and become the Ibrox club's unofficial banker. (The Sun, print edition)

Former Rangers defender Richard Gough has joined the Rangers Supporters Trust and declared himself "happy to help" in their battle for control of the Ibrox club. (The Herald)

Celtic defender Jason Denayer
Jason Denayer, on loan to Celtic from Manchester City, is reportedly interesting Ajax

Former Rangers midfielder Stuart McCall has thrown his support behind the Three Bears, the group owning a near 19% stake in the Glasgow club headed by businessman and Rangers fan Douglas Park, in the battle to control at Ibrox. (The Scotsman)

Ally McCoist is being denied the chance to say his goodbyes to the fans at former Rangers defender Fernando Ricksen's benefit game on Sunday by the terms of his gardening leave contract as he is not allowed to set foot inside Ibrox or the Murray Park training ground.(Daily Record)

Former Celtic manager Martin O'Neill thinks Rangers were treated harshly by Scottish football authorities after financial trouble led to the Ibrox club playing in the bottom tier in 2012. (The Herald)

Celtic are prepared to turn down attempts by Bolton Wanderers to sign Kris Commons this week, with a bid expected for the 31-year-old midfielder from the club managed by former Hoops boss Neil Lennon.(The Herald)

Kris Commons will leave for a knock-down price during January or in the summer transfer window after the midfielder's contract talks with Celtic broke down. (Daily Express)

On-loan Manchester City defender Jason Denayer says the Celtic squad will be able to cope should Kris Commons leave the Scottish champions during January.(The Scotsman)

Ajax could try to scupper Celtic's hopes of extending defender Jason Denayer's loan from Manchester City for a second season. (The Sun, print edition)

Brighton are considering a move for Celtic midfielder Beram Kayal, the 26-year-old Israel international who is out of contract in the summer. (Daily Express, print edition)

Derek Riordan in action for St Johnstone
Former Scotland midfielder Derek Riordan is on trial with Livingston

Scotland midfielder Shaun Maloney is close to finalising a deal to join Chicago Fire in the Major Soccer League after snubbing a transfer from Wigan Athletic to Leicester City. (Daily Mirror, print edition)

Scotland Under-21 forward Islam Feruz has joined Blackpool on loan for the rest of the season from Chelsea, the 19-year-old former Celtic trainee having recently completed a loan spell with OFI Crete.(The Herald)

Steven Pressley admits he is fighting to save his job as Coventry City manager after they slid into the League One relegation zone. (Daily Record, print edition)

Former Hibernian, Celtic and Scotland striker Derek Riordan, 32, will today begin a trial with Livingston, who sit bottom of the Scottish Championship. (The Sun, print edition)

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert says he can handle the pressure despite his side's poor form. (The Guardian)

Hull City manager Steve Bruce has publicly criticised his Scottish goalkeeper, Allan McGregor, and captain Curtis Davies after mistakes in Sunday's 3-0 defeat away to West Ham.(The Guardian)

OTHER GOSSIP

Edinburgh coach Alan Solomons has appealed to the capital city's rugby followers to come out in force to roar on his team in their crucial, winner-takes-all European Challenge Cup clash with Bordeaux on Friday.(The Herald)

Fatigue played a part as Edinburgh fell short against Lyon after victory slipped out of their hands in an agonising final 10 minutes of their European Challenge Cup group game in France. (The Scotsman)

The Scottish Rugby Union plans to establish a national academy for elite women players and has already identified the University of Stirling as a possible venue. (The Scotsman, print edition)

Paul Foster and Laura Thomas are one step away from retaining their World Indoor Mixed Pairs title for a record-setting third time in a row after qualifying to face English bowlers Robert Paxton and Marion Purcell in the final in Norfolk. (The Herald, print edition)

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