Scottish Gossip: Zinedine Zidane, Moussa Dembele, Celtic, Rangers, Aberdeen

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FOOTBALL GOSSIP

Former world player of the year Zinedine Zidane tells Moussa Dembele to stay at Celtic for up to two years if he wants to become one of the world's top strikers. (Daily Record)

Former Rangers boss Graeme Souness thinks the Ibrox club need to spend heavily to close the gap on Celtic, who he believes are "five years ahead" of their rivals. "We're playing catch-up, we'll need some clever buying, we'll need some money and we'll need some luck," said Souness. (Various)

The current Rangers manager Mark Warburton says he won't imperil the club by spending recklessly and argues that hard work can help them catch Brendan Rodgers' side, who the Englishman reckons has a budget three and a half times that of their Old Firm rivals. (Various)

Moussa Dembele gets the better of Rangers defender Rob Kiernan at Hampden
Celtic striker Moussa Dembele gets the better of Rangers defender Rob Kiernan at Hampden

Celtic centre-half Erik Sviatchenko thinks Warburton should watch Sunday's League Cup Old Firm match again to see just how much Celtic were in front, despite the narrow 1-0 final score. (Various)

The Rangers boss insists midfielder Niko Kranjacar can come back from his knee injury. "He's 32, If he was 37, or 38, you might think differently," said Warburton. (Sun)

Celtic winger Scott Sinclair claims he should have scored a hat-trick against Rangers at Hampden, after missing two good chances to score and hitting the crossbar with a free-kick. (Various)

Aberdeen goalkeeper - and Norwich City fan - Joe Lewis hopes 19-year-old James Maddison can extend his loan spell at Pittodrie from the Canaries beyond January. Lewis believes Maddison is certain to play in the Premier League and he hopes it's with Norwich. (Daily Express, Daily Record)

Another goalie, Hearts' Jack Hamilton, wants to follow the style of German keeper Manuel Neuer in becoming accomplished at distributing the ball with his feet. (Daily Express, Daily Record)

Aberdeen fans at the League Cup final at Celtic Park in 2014
There were about 40,000 Aberdeen fans at the League Cup final at Celtic Park in 2014, but far fewer were at Saturday's semi-final against Morton at Hampden, which had a lunchtime kick-off

Anything other than a 50-50 split on ticket numbers for Aberdeen and Celtic fans for the League Cup final on 27 November "would be a disgrace", argues Dons boss Derek McInnes, who points out that his club had the backing of 40,000 fans at the League Cup final against Inverness Caley Thistle two years ago at Celtic Park. (Various)

Inverness Caledonian Thistle manager Richie Foran says Ross Draper was just showing his disappointment and frustration, rather than dissent, when he kicked the advertising hoarding after being substituted after 55 minutes in the weekend's 1-1 draw against Kilmarnock. (Sun)

Hamilton Accies player-manager Martin Canning thinks the Premiership table, in which his team languish in 10th spot, is an unfair reflection of their form this season. They have won only once but have drawn five matches. (Various)

Despite being named in the Scotland Under-16 Victory Shield squad last Wednesday, Celtic's London-born 13-year-old talent Karamoko Dembele could be about to play for England's Under-15s. Dembele qualifies to play for Scotland because he has been at school in the country for more than five years. (Daily Express)

Among the dozen or so English clubs watching Morton winger Jai Quitongo play against Aberdeen at Hampden on Saturday were West Ham and West Brom. The 19-year-old is out of contract in the summer. (Daily Express)

Jai Quitongo in action for Morton against Aberdeen
Morton's Jai Quitongo is out of contract at Cappielow next summer

Scottish Football Association chief executive Stewart Regan says Scotland manager Gordon Strachan has the full backing of the organisation. Regan thinks a "positive result" against England at Wembley next month is essential for Scotland's World Cup qualification chances. (Various)

St Johnstone manager Tommy Wright, while citing his team's "solid" defence and confident mood, expects Rangers to go back to their usual playing formation at Ibrox on Wednesday evening, with James Tavernier moving back to his familiar right-back role rather than playing in a more advanced position. (Daily Record)

Perth Saints captain Steven Anderson thinks 29-year-old winger Danny Swanson deserves to get back into the Scotland squad. (Sun)

Dundee playmaker Paul McGowan thinks it's the players, and not manager Paul Hartley, who have to improve if the Dee are to end their run of nine league games without a win. (Sun)

OTHER GOSSIP

Glasgow Warriors head coach Gregor Townsend is looking forward to the "real physical presence" of his new lock forward Brian Alainu'ese, the 22-year-old New Zealand-born player he has signed until the end of the season from Waikato. (Herald)

Carl Frampton believes that Prestonpans' Josh Taylor, his stablemate at McGuigan's Gym in London, has the speed of a fighter much lighter than his super-lightweight class and that he is "spiteful" in the ring - a necessary trait, argues the Irish WBA super-featherweight world champion. (Herald)

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