Scottish football news: Brian McClair, St Mirren, Rangers, Celtic, Motherwell

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Thursday's headlines

  • Brian McClair leaves Scottish FA
  • Tavernier extends Rangers deal
  • St Mirren takeover deal complete
  • Skacel and McManus join Raith Rovers
  • Scotland's Hanley joins Newcastle
  • Motherwell reject Australian bid for McDonald
  • Aberdeen, Hibernian and Hearts in Europa League action tonight
  • Celtic preparing for 'trying conditions' in Kazakhstan

Brian McClair leaves performance director post at Scottish FA

Brian McClair
Brian McClair replaced Mark Wotte as Scottish FA performance director

Brian McClair has left his role as Scottish FA performance director after just 13 months in the job.

The former Celtic and Manchester United striker has left by 'mutual consent'.

"I am deeply disappointed that I couldn't make a significant difference," said McClair.

Read the full story here.

Buddies in new hands

A takeover deal at Championship side St Mirren has been completed.

New chairman Gordon Scott has joined forces with the St Mirren Independent Supporters Association to buy out the Stewart Gilmour-led consortium that had been running the Paisley club.

More than 1,300 Saints supporters are backing the scheme and their monthly subscriptions will be used to buy out Scott in the next 10 years.

James Tavernier extends Rangers deal

James Tavernier (left) celebrates scoring for Rangers in their opening League Cup match at Motherwell
Tavernier celebrates scoring Rangers' opening goal of the season in their League Cup match at Motherwell

Rangers full-back James Tavernier has signed a new one-year contract extension, committing him to Ibrox until the summer of 2019.

The 24-year-old scored 15 goals in his first season in Glasgow after arriving from Wigan last summer.

Read the full story here.

Raith sign Rudi Skacel and Declan McManus

Rudi Skacel
Rudi Skacel had two spells at Hearts - in 2005-06 and 2010-2012 - as well as a short stint at Dundee United

Rudi Skacel has returned to Scottish football for a fourth time by joining Championship side Raith Rovers.

The 37-year-old, who had spells at Hearts and Dundee United, has not played since leaving Czech Republic side Blada Moleslav in March.

Former Aberdeen and Morton striker Declan McManus has also signed a loan deal at the Kirkcaldy club.

Read the full story here.

Scotland defender Hanley joins Newcastle from Blackburn

Grant Hanley
Grant Hanley was with Blackburn Rovers from the age of 16

Newcastle United have signed defender Grant Hanley from Blackburn Rovers for an undisclosed fee on a five-year deal.

The 24-year-old has won 23 caps for Scotland since playing his first game against Wales in 2011.

"I am very pleased to bring Grant Hanley to our project to add his hard work and potential to our squad," Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez said.

Read the full story here.

McDonald staying at Motherwell after Australian bid rejected

Scott McDonald
Scott McDonald has scored 19 goals since returning to Motherwell in February 2015

Motherwell have rejected an offer from an Australian A-League club for Scott McDonald, the club have confirmed.

McDonald signed a new one-year deal to remain at Fir Park earlier this month after scoring 14 goals last season.

"Scott is an extremely important part of our plans as we believe he is one of the very best strikers in the country," said Motherwell manager Mark McGhee.

Read the full story here.

Aberdeen, Hearts and Hibs in Europa League action

Hibernian
Hibs trained at the Brøndby Stadion ahead of tonight's second leg

Three Scottish clubs are in Europa League qualifying action this evening.

Aberdeen are in Latvia to face Ventspils and will be confident of progressing after a 3-0 win in the first leg. Kick off is at the earlier time of 1600.

Hibernian face an uphill battle if they are to make it through to the third qualifying round. They trail Brondby 1-0 ahead of the second leg in Denmark. That match kicks off at 1900.

Hearts take on Birkirkara of Malta at Tynecastle, with the tie delicately poised after a goalless draw in the first leg. Kick-off is at 2000.

Keep up to date with the progress of all three Scottish clubs in Europa League qualifying action this evening on Sportsound on BBC Radio Scotland 810MW and at the BBC Sport Scotland website.

Rodgers preparing Celtic for 'trying conditions' against Astana

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Kazakhstan trip poses problems - Rodgers

Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers was able to joke about next week's Champions League trek to Kazakhstan after an "excellent" display saw them beat Lincoln Red Imps 3-1 on aggregate on Wednesday.

Celtic's first-leg defeat in Gibraltar was one of the worst in their history.

But a 3-0 home win secured a trip to Astana in the third qualifying round.

"It's a six-hour flight, five-hour time difference, 35C+, a plastic pitch, with no water, but apart from that..!" Rodgers told BBC Scotland.

Read the full story here.

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