Scottish Gossip: Celtic, Aston Villa, Aberdeen, Dundee United, Hearts

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FOOTBALL GOSSIP

Aston Villa manager Remi Garde has told Celtic target Libor Kozak, the Czech Republic striker, he can leave in January, while the Scottish champions are also interested in Dundee United defender John Souttar and Walsall midfielder Romaine Sawyers. (Daily Express, print edition)

Rijeka have confirmed that their captain, the midfielder Ivan Mocinic, has a release clause in his contract that means Celtic could sign the 22-year-old for £2.2m, but Lazio and Sampdoria are also interested. (The Times, print edition)

Police officers have spoken to Celtic director Lord Livingston and others in connection with an allegation made by club chairman Ian Bankier that he was subjected to racist abuse online after his decision to support tax credit cuts in the House of Lords, but any formal investigation cannot been pursued yet as there has been no complaint.(The Herald)

Celtic manager Ronny Deila has hit out at the media and insisted they are to blame for the pressure he is under, with a section of the club's fans wanting him sacked after their failure to win a single group stage game in the Europa League and Saturday's home defeat by Motherwell. (Daily Record)

Ronny Deila, responding to an online petition by Celtic fans wanting him removed as manager, insists he does not fear the sack. (Daily Express, print edition)

Aston villa's Libor Kozak in action against Nottingham Forest in pre-season
Libor Kozak, who joined Aston Villa in 2013, is being linked with Celtic

Celtic captain Scott Brown has described calls for Ronny Deila's dismissal as "very harsh" and insists the manager retains the complete faith of a playing squad determined to help him answer his critics by winning the domestic treble this season. (The Scotsman)

Aberdeen coach Tony Docherty says captain Mark Reynolds broke his nose twice in a week - resetting it himself the first time but needing it broken again after blocking an artery - and exemplified the squad's determination to keep the pressure on Premiership leaders Celtic by continuing to train.(Daily Record)

Former Celtic, Hibernian and Scotland forward Derek Riordan has claimed he is a victim of a whispering campaign to keep him out of football, the 32-year-old having turned to career networking site LinkedIn to help him get back into the game after parting company with East Fife in the summer. (Daily Record)

Former Celtic, Dundee United, Hibernian and Scotland forward Darren Jackson has been made bankrupt with debts of £270,000, the majority of the cash being owed to the taxman and relating to investments made by the 49-year-old, who had been coaching at Tannadice this season until Jackie McNamara was sacked, in a film production scheme.(The Scotsman)

Nijmegen plan to offer Japan goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima a contract after delays surrounding the 32-year-old's work permit application held up the completion of his signing by Dundee United. (The Sun, print edition)

Dundee United have booked a flight for Japanese international goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima, who is expected to watch their derby against Dundee at Dens Park on 2 January, despite Dutch media linking the 32-year-old with a possible 11th-hour switch to Nijmegen after his signing was delayed as a result of work permit problems.(The Courier)

Dundee striker Greg Stewart will miss the 2 January derby with Dundee United through suspension because the 25-year-old was booked in the second half of Saturday's win over Hamilton Academical. (The Courier)

Levski Sofia have confirmed that midfielder Aymen Belaid is in talks with a team in Scotland after refusing to extend his contract beyond the end of this season, the 26-year-old having been a summer target for Hearts. (Daily Record, print edition)

Eilidh Child has backed Hearts owner Ann Budge to improve Scottish football after the Olympic athlete was named one of the Hearts Youth Development Committee's first-ever ambassadors. (The Scotsman)

Former Hearts defender Jose Goncalves has paid for a state-of-the-art garden hut with a unique games room for 12-year-old epileptic Celtic fan Adam Cusack.(Daily Record)

Rijeka midfielder Ivan Mocinic
Rijeka midfielder Ivan Mocinic is being linked with Celtic, Lazio and Sampdoria

St Johnstone manager Tommy Wright has confirmed that striker Steven MacLean has been relieved of penalty kick duties after his miss against Hearts on Saturday, with midfielder Liam Craig likely to replace him. (The Courier)

St Johnstone midfielder David Wotherspoon will not face any action from the Scottish FA despite a claim from Hearts head coach Robbie Neilson that a head butt by Juanma, who was sent off on Saturday, was for retaliation. (The Sun, print edition)

St Johnstone manager Tommy Wright is adamant that David Wotherspoon does not deserve to be "dragged into" the Juanma red card controversy, the Hearts striker having been sent off on Saturday for aiming a head-butt at the Saints midfielder amid claims from the visitors' camp that it was retaliation to a Wotherspoon kick. (The Courier)

Each of the last six winning managers of the Petrofac Training Cup - Mark Burchill (Livingston), Grant Murray (Raith Rovers), Allan Johnston (Queen of the South), Steven Pressley (Falkirk), Jimmy Calderwood (Ross County) and Jocky Scott (Dundee) - have failed to stay in their job past the end of the following season.(The Scotsman)

Hibernian midfielder Lewis Stevenson says it is too early for the forthcoming match against Rangers to be billed as a title decider in the Scottish Championship. (The Scotsman)

Former Scotland goalkeeper Rab Douglas has quit Forfar Athletic in protest at the sacking of manager Dick Campbell, but the 43-year-old plans to continue playing.(The Sun)

John Beaton has replaced Steven McLean in Uefa's second tier of referees. (The Sun, print edition)

OTHER GOSSIP

Olympian Imogen Bankier, who recently turned 28 and is the only Scottish badminton player to have contested a World Championship final, has retired as she is playing a major role in setting up a new Paris branch of The Whisky Shop, which was set up by her father Ian, the Celtic chairman.(The Herald)

Ticket sales for Sunday's opening 1872 Cup match between Edinburgh and Glasgow Warriors at Murrayfield are poised to pass the 20,000 barrier, having surpassed the previous record attendance of 15,810. (The Scotsman)

Kelsey MacDonald and Gemma Dryburgh both secured top-10 cards at the Ladies European Tour Qualifying School in Morocco and will join Pamela Pretswell, Kylie Walker, Sally Watson, Carly Booth and Vikki Laing as regulars on the circuit next season.(The Scotsman)

Paul McGinlay has apologised to Stephen Gallacher for pairing the Scot with Ian Poulter without sufficient preparation in the Ryder Cup, the pair losing 5&4 to Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed. (The Sun, print edition)

Fife Flyers have signed former Dundee Stars centre Nico Sacchetti after a spell in Austria. (The Sun, print edition)

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