Scottish Gossip: Celtic, Aston Villa, Rangers, Hearts, Hamilton

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FOOTBALL GOSSIP

Aston Villa have targeted Celtic midfielder Stefan Johansen and are poised to make a £5m offer for the 25-year-old Norway international.(The Sun)

Celtic have tabled an official £300,000 offer to Croatian club Slaven Belupo for Ljuban Crepulja as the 22-year-old holding midfielder arrived in Glasgow on trial. (Daily Record)

Brian Laudrup has told Denmark defender Erik Sviatchenko to ignore national assistant manager Peter Bonde's claim that the 24-year-old would have been better moving to the Bundesliga rather than Celtic from Midtylland and the former Rangers midfielder says that he can be a success with the Scottish champions.(Daily Record)

Aberdeen could be beaten to the pre-contract signing of Partick Thistle midfielder Stuart Bannigan after Barnsley manager Lee Johnson expressed an interest in the 23-year-old. (Daily Express, print edition)

Former Hearts midfielder Ryan Stevenson has been released by Partick Thistle, which could pave the way for the 31-year-old to make a permanent move to Ayr United after a recent loan spell.(The Scotsman)

Crystal Palace striker Sullay Kaikai
Crystal Palace striker Sullay Kaikai is reportedly wanted by Kilmarnock on loan

Motherwell are bracing themselves for a £400,000 bid from Bournemouth for 25-year-old winger Marvin Johnson if the English Premiership outfit fail to sign £8m Scotland international Matt Phillips from Queens Park Rangers or Manchester City 18-year-old Patrick Roberts. (Daily Mail)

Kilmarnock are keen on Sheffield United defender Keiron Freeman, the 23-year-old who has lost his place at Bramall Lane, and 20-year-old Crystal Palace striker Sullay Kaikai, both on loan. (Daily Record, print edition)

Scotland midfielder Charlie Adam is a loan target for English Championship clubs Brighton and Wolves, the 30-year-old having been on the fringes with Stoke City. (The Sentinel)

Steven Caulker, the 24-year-old defender who has joined Liverpool on loan from Queens Park Rangers, has not ruled out switching allegiance to Scotland despite having played for England in a friendly. (The Scotsman, print edition)

West Brom midfielder James Morrison is struggling to be fit in time for Scotland's friendlies against Czech Republic and Denmark in March after being ruled out for up to two months with a hamstring tear, but clubmate Darren Fletcher is hoping his knee injury is not too serious. (Daily Mail)

Middlesbrough have made an increased bid of £9m for Ross McCormack, with Fulham aware that the 29-year-old Scotland striker wants a move to the Riverside.(Daily Mail)

Dundee United right-back Ryan McGowan, who joined from Shandong Taishan, is inching closer to a move back to China, with Henan Jianye lining up an increased offer of £350,000 for the 26-year-old who could also sign a pre-contract agreement to move in the summer. (Evening Telegraph)

Dundee United are close to completing the signing of 19-year-old right-back Kyle Knoyle on loan from West Ham United. (The Sun, print edition)

Manchester United are the latest club to take an interest in Livingston striker Matthew Knox, the 16-year-old having started a trial at Old Trafford after training with Everton, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur, while Dundee United and Hearts are also interested. (Metro)

St Johnstone have leapt to the front of the pack of clubs trying to secure Falkirk midfielder Blair Alston on a pre-contract agreement after contacting the Championship club, the 23-year-old whose deal ends in the summer having been linked with several English clubs. (Daily Mail, print edition)

Danny Swanson, the 29-year-old midfielder who joined Hearts in September after leaving St Johnstone, could be poised to return to McDiarmid Park should Michael O'Halloran be sold to Rangers. (The Sun, print edition)

West Ham defender Kyle Knoyle
West Ham defender Kyle Knoyle is being linked with a move to Dundee United

Rangers manager Mark Warburton is "very hopeful" he can bring in a player before Monday's game against Greenock Morton - but feels his current squad are more than good enough to win promotion from the Scottish Championship.(The National)

Rangers will not resort to panic buys in the January transfer window despite Championship title rivals Hibernian's headline-grabbing capture of Republic of Ireland striker Anthony Stokes on loan from Celtic, insists manager Mark Waburton (The Scotsman)

Strathspey Thistle striker Josh Peters, 19, will have a trial with Hibernian next week having already trained with Hamilton Academical and attracted interest from Inverness Caledonian Thistle and Ross County.(Press and Journal)

Manager Mark Warburton expects to have completed Rangers' transfer business long before the end of transfer deadline day. (The Herald)

Hamilton Academical chairman Les Gray has given player-manager Martin Canning his full backing in a statement on the club's website following the humiliating 8-1 defeat at Celtic Park.(The Herald)

Hearts owner Ann Budge has been angered by the Scottish Professional Football League's announcement that the Edinburgh club is under investigation for incidents involving supporters in the 3-2 win over Dundee United on 30 December 30, one drunken away fan having been involved in an incident with a steward after trying to get in to the home supporters section of the Roseburn Stand. (Daily Record)

A controversial Scottish Professional Football League proposal to introduce facial-recognition technology at all 42 senior football grounds in Scotland at a cost of up to £4m has been described as "over the top" and a waste of public money by Andrew Jenkin of Supporters Direct Scotland.(The Herald)

Inverness Caledonian Thistle chairman Kenny Cameron has vowed to hand lifetime bans on fans guilty of lighting flares after smoke bombs went off within their support in games against Ross County and Stirling Albion. (Daily Record, print edition)

TSB Bank halted a bid to seize a house owned by former Celtic, Hibernian and Scotland striker Derek Riordan over mortgage arrears, its decision to ask for its case at Falkirk Sheriff Court to be "sisted" meaning it had settled with the 32-year-old.(Daily Record)

OTHER GOSSIP

World number three Rory McIlroy has decided not to play at the Scottish Open at Castle Stuart a year after having to pull out of the competition at Gullane with a leg injury following the Irish golfer's infamous football kickabout. (Daily Express, print edition)

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