Monday's Scottish gossip

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FOOTBALL GOSSIP

Dundee United midfielder Paul Paton, forced to sit out two games over the festive period after being offered a two-match ban by the Scottish FA compliance officer for spitting on Aberdeen player Jonny Hayes, has accused the governing body of victimising him because he has opted to play for Northern Ireland.(The Scotsman)

Dundee United have rejected a £1.75m double offer from Celtic for Gary Mackay-Steven, who has already agreed a summer switch to the Scottish champions, and fellow midfielder Stuart Armstrong. (Daily Express)

Celtic are eyeing a deadline-day move for Crystal Palace midfielder Barry Bannan, with manager Alan Pardew having agreed to allow the 25-year-old Scotland international to leave on loan. (Daily Record)

Celtic are interested in signing Italy Under-21 striker Diego De Girolamo, who is poised to leave Sheffield United, but they face competition from Juventus and Sunderland for the 19-year-old who has had loan spells with York City. (Daily Record, print edition)

Celtic have agreed a deal to sign Northern Ireland Under-21 winger Michael Duffy, the Derry City 20-year-old having been on trial with the Scottish champions on two separate occasions and expected to agree personal terms before the transfer window closes on Monday evening. (The Herald)

Crystal Palace midfielder Barry Bannan
Crystal Palace midfielder Barry Bannan is being linked with Celtic

Celtic playmaker Kris Commons has revealed that his long-running talks about a contract extension could be resolved soon. (Daily Record)

Kris Commons says his goal in Celtic's 2-0 Scottish League Cup semi-final win over Rangers had added significance as it arrived seven years to the day since the midfielder lost his daughter. (The Scotsman)

Celtic midfielder Kris Commons has described his goal in the Scottish League Cup semi-final win over Rangers as the best of his career. (The Herald)

Rangers midfielder Ian Black accused referee Craig Thomson of ''copping out" of sending off Celtic captain Scott Brown, saying that he would have been sent off if he had put in the kind of challenges at Hampden that only led to the Scotland midfielder being shown a yellow card. (The Herald)

Celtic captain Scott Brown delivered a scornful assessment of Rangers' contribution to the League Cup semi-final at Hampden, claiming the Scottish champions' goalkeeper, Craig Gordon, only touched the ball to spare himself from boredom. (The Scotsman)

Celtic scorer Leigh Griffiths insists he was not winding up the Rangers fans despite being booked for his celebration at Hampden Park on Sunday. (Daily Record, print edition)

Rangers striker Kenny Miller, previously of Celtic, insists the Ibrox side's second-half display at Hampden proves they are not far behind the Scottish champions, scored both their goals before half-time. (Daily Record)

Dutch defender Virgil van Dijk joined his Celtic captain, Scott Brown, in rubbing a large handful of salt into Rangers' wounds by branding their side's 2-0 League Cup semi-final victory as "easy" and writing the Ibrox club off as "predictable". (The Herald)

A full parliamentary investigation into the business practices of influential Rangers shareholder Mike Ashley is expected to move closer this week when MPs from two Commons committees meet ex-workers from one of the Newcastle United and Sports Direct owner's companies, the USC clothing distribution depot at Dundonald in Ayrshire. (The Herald)

Bolton Wanderers manager Neil Lennon has set up a £250,000 offer for 26-year-old Rangers midfielder Nicky Law. (The Sun, print edition)

Darren Fletcher could still leave Manchester United before the transfer deadline, with West Brom ready to resurrect their interest in the 31-year-old midfielder. (Manchester Evening News)

Sheffield United striker Diego De Girolamo
Sheffield United striker Diego De Girolamo is also reportedly interesting Celtic

Midfielder Stephen McGinn was delighted to join Dundee on loan after being told by manager Nigel Clough he would never play for Sheffield United again. (The Sun, print edition)

Inverness Caledonian Thistle's Marley Watkins is convinced he can be a replacement for Billy McKay, the top scorer having moved to Wigan Athletic, but won't say if he is staying with the Scottish Premiership club beyond the summer. (The Herald)

Dundee are poised to sign striker Paul Heffernan if the 33-year-old can agree an early termination of his contract with Hibernian, where he has fallen out of favour. (Daily Express, print edition)

Hearts are on the verge of signing 22-year-old midfielder Kenny Anderson from Dutch club RKC Waalwijk. (Daily Express, print edition)

OTHER GOSSIP

Lee Westwood has called the expected decision for the Open Championship to move from the BBC to Sky Sports next year "an absolute disgrace" because it will harm the popularity of golf. (The Herald)

Gleneagles Hotel, the five-star Scots resort that hosted the Ryder Cup last year, is on the market and expected to fetch around £200m, with Diageo, which owns the three golf courses on the 850-acre site, saying it had received "numerous expressions of interest". (Daily Record)

Scotland's cricketers have headed off to Australia as their preparations for the World Cup, which begins later this month stepped up a gear. (The Scotsman)

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