Scottish Gossip: Celtic, Rangers, Kilmarnock, Dundee, St Johnstone, Glasgow Warriors

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FOOTBALL GOSSIP

Peter Lawwell flew to Geneva on Thursday to carry the fight for Scotland's place in the Champions League to Europe's elite clubs, the Celtic chief executive being determined to battle plans by Bayern Munich president Karl-Heinz Rummenigge that would end the "champions route" into the competition by creating a new super league of 20 teams from the five biggest footballing nations - Spain, Italy, Germany, England and France.(Daily Record)

Nir Bitton, the Celtic midfielder for whom Sunderland and Arsenal have been credited with an interest, says the Scottish champions are wise to be prudent in the transfer market and not attempt to match the "joke money" being paid by English clubs. (The Herald)

Celtic midfielder Nir Bitton credits Ronny Deila for his own progress as a player and believes others are improving in similar fashion despite criticism of the Norwegian manager following exits from Europe and the Scottish League Cup.(The Scotsman)

Dafabet is lining-up a big-money deal to become Celtic's main shirt sponsors, with the betting company ready to secure the biggest agreement of its kind in Scottish football by succeeding Magners from season 2016-17. (Daily Record)

Alex McLeish
Former Scotland manager Alex McLeish is being linked with Egyptian club Zamalek

Rangers have regained the legal ownership of their trademarks from shareholder Mike Ashley's Sports Direct, which held a host of Rangers and club-related trademarks and logos, including the club name, Ibrox and The Gers, as security against a £5m emergency loan taken by the club at the start of last year but which has now been repaid.(The Herald)

Rangers winger Barrie McKay is close to agreeing a new contract with the Scottish Championship leaders, with manager Mark Warburton suggesting that a call to the Scotland squad is a realistic target for the 21-year-old. (The Herald)

Former Rangers and Scotland manager Alex McLeish, who left Belgian outfit Genk in the summer, is again on the shortlist to take over at Zamalek after Mido was sacked after a short second spell at the Egyptian club. (The Sun, print edition)

On-loan Scotland Under-21 striker Tony Watt wants to make his move from Charlton Athletic to Blackburn Rovers permanent. (Daily Mirror, print edition)

Everton are continuing their interest in Cardiff City and Scotland goalkeeper David Marshall with Tim Howard being a summer target for Major League Soccer outfit Colorado Rapids. (Daily Mirror, print edition)

Lee Hodson, the Northern Ireland defender who has signed for Kilmarnock on loan from MK Dons, cannot understand why his talented new team-mates have done so badly in the Scottish Premiership this season. (The Herald)

Dundee defender Darren O'Dea has rejected allegations that he stamped on St Johnstone counterpart Steven Anderson during the Dark Blues' 2-0 win on Friday. (The Sun, print edition)

OTHER GOSSIP

Lynsey Sharp
Lynsey Sharp has broken Laura Muir's Scottish indoor 800m record

An artificial surface, costing about £550,000, looks certain to be installed at Scotstoun Stadium this summer after a compromise deal was reached with Victoria Park Glasgow Athletics Club, with Glasgow Life and Sportscotland considering erecting a small stand on the back pitches for hammer and javelin events that would be unsuitable for Glasgow Warriors' new rugby pitch. (The Herald)

The bookmakers are right to give Scotland little or no chance of beating Wales in Cardiff on Saturday, with the hosts having won every Six Nations meeting between the sides since 2008. (The National)

John Barclay, the Scotland forward now playing for Scarlets, aims to win respect for the national side in his new home when they face Wales on Saturday.(The Courier)

Lynsey Sharp smashed the Scottish indoor 800m record in taking victory at the David Hemery meeting in Boston, the former European champion running 2.00:30 to break Laura Muir's existing national best and move into fifth place in the UK all-time rankings in what ranks as the world's second fastest time this year. (The Herald)

Laura Muir will compete at next weekend's Grand Prix in Glasgow over 800m after the world championship finalist reversed her decision to end her indoor season. (The Herald, print edition)

Ewan MacDonald reckons he is fit enough after recovering from injury to have a serious chance of completing a hat-trick of successive titles by leading his team to victory at the Scottish Curling Championships, which begin this weekend. (The Herald)

Seonaid McIntosh, whose mother Shirley and older sister Jen are two of Scotland's most decorated Commonwealth Games athletes, is aiming to qualify for the shooting events at this summer's Olympics in Rio.(The National)

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