Scottish Gossip: Celtic, Dembele, Barton, Garner, Doyle, Townsend

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FOOTBALL GOSSIP

After scoring in Celtic's 5-2 win over Hapoel Beer Sheva in the first leg of their Champions League play-off, French striker Moussa Dembele is convinced that Celtic have the pace and striking talent to reach the group stages. (Various)

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers marvels at captain Scott Brown's energetic performance against the Israelis, saying there is "absolutely no question" that he could play in the Premier League in England - but he's delighted he wants to stay at Celtic. (Various)

Uefa may take a dim view of the show of Palestinian flags at Celtic Park on Wednesday night. (Times)

While the Palestinian flag-waving by some fans may cost Celtic in fines, Rodgers described the support as "absolutely incredible". (Herald)

Celtic striker Moussa Dembele
Moussa Dembele scored Celtic's fourth goal in the win over the Israelis

Rangers midfielder Joey Barton tells Alan Brazil's Talksport programme that he hasn't yet run into Rodgers around Glasgow, saying of the Celtic boss, "The places he and I go probably differ. With the tan and the teeth they're not the kind of establishments I go to. I'm not having a mid-life crisis yet." (Various)

Rangers are expecting to hear within the next 24 hours whether ex-England defender Joleon Lescott will move to Ibrox, while Preston striker Joe Garner should sign by Friday. (Sun)

Garner's manager at Deepdale, Simon Grayson, says it's disappointing that the "fans' favourite" should wish to move but he thanks him for his contribution at Preston. (Daily Record)

Garner is trying to resolve "contractual issues" with the Lilywhites, who will be paid £750,000 by Rangers now and the same amount next year. (Daily Express)

Aberdeen have rejected a loan request by Inverness Caledonian Thistle for 19-year-old winger Scott Wright. (Daily Express)

Ross County striker Brian Graham says it is a "compliment" to be linked to Hibs, but promises Staggies fans that the speculation hasn't distracted him. (Sun)

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes puts an absence of bids for his talented players as a sign that the club is sending out the right message by offering long-term contracts. (Various)

Eilidh Doyle
Eilidh Doyle is likely to be in lane one or eight after scraping in to the final - but she says that won't bother her at all

Hearts head coach Robbie Neilson felt he "had to do something" after losing three goals against St Johnstone and urges Turkish defender Alim Ozturk, subsequently dropped to the bench, to fight for his place. Ozturk is club captain. (Daily Mail)

OTHER GOSSIP

Eilidh Doyle described reaching the final of the Olympic women's 400m hurdles as the "best feeling ever". (Various)

Laura Muir, who finished seventh in the final of the women's 1500m in Rio, says she has "doubts" that the race was completely clean. (National, Times)

Scottish Rugby offered Glasgow Warriors' boss Gregor Townsend a salary of about £400,000 a year to become the Scotland head coach, to avoid him being poached by a French or English club. (Daily Mail)

Former Scotland prop Peter Wright believes that national head coach Vern Cotter should leave now rather than next year, allowing Townsend to move to Murrayfield immediately. (Daily Record)

Former Scotland captain and Warriors scrum-half Mike Blair and Kenny Murray, both on the coaching staff at Scotstoun, could be possible successors to Townsend. (Scotsman)

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