Scottish Gossip: Moussa Dembele, Rangers step up coach search

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FOOTBALL GOSSIP

Gordon Strachan admits he faces a selection dilemma up front in Scotland's vital Russia 2018 qualifier against Slovenia on Sunday. Of the five strikers in his 30-man squad - Steven Fletcher, Leigh Griffiths, Chris Martin, Steven Naismith and Jordan Rhodes - only Rhodes started for his club at the weekend. (National)

Strachan insists he has 'no qualms' about throwing Stuart Armstrong into his Scotland starting line-up for the game against Slovenia. Without a first-choice striker in form at club level, he'll be looking for his entire midfield contingent to provide the goal threat. (Daily Mail)

The Scotland boss is ready to wrap Armstrong in cotton wool against Canada at Easter Road on Wednesday to save the Celtic midfielder for a sensational debut against Slovenia on Sunday. (Daily Record)

Aberdeen forward Jayden Stockley insists Ryan Fraser is "something special" as the Bournemouth midfielder prepares to make his Scotland debut against Canada. "He has frightening pace and what Eddie Howe has done with him is fantastic," said Stockley of his former Bournemouth team-mate. (Press and Journal)

Ryan Fraser
Ryan Fraser will hope to make his full Scotland debut against Canada having made 10 appearances for the Under-21s

Slovenia's Rene Krhin warns that Sunday's visitors to Hampden plan to end the Scots' slim hopes of reaching the finals. "Based on what we have shown in recent matches, we're going there to win. We are feeling positive from the previous games. There is a new chemistry among the players," he says. Slovenia are four points ahead of Scotland in World Cup qualifying Group F. (Sun)

England unveil their new away kit, which they will wear for the first time in Wednesday's friendly against Germany in Dortmund - and it's in Scotland colours. (Scotsman)

Hibernian striker Jason Cummings is a summer target for Sunderland, who would be willing to meet his club's valuation of £2m. (Herald)

Billy Brown calls for Hearts to clarify Craig Levein's involvement in the first team for the sake of head coach Ian Cathro. The former Tynecastle assistant believes his old club need to get the controversial issue out into the open before even more damage is done among their supporters. (Daily Record)

Coach Didier Deschamps tells Celtic striker Moussa Dembele to keep performing and he will get his chance for France after the 20-year-old missed out on the squad for upcoming games against Luxembourg and Spain. (Daily Record)

Rangers are stepping up the search for a Scottish assistant to manager Pedro Caixinha, with interviews beginning in the next 24 hours. (Daily Record)

John 'Bomber' Brown is a candidate for the position as Caixinha's number three, although former skipper Barry Ferguson remains the favourite. (Sun)

Hearts want to sign Slovenian right-back Andraz Struna on a long-term deal and install him as Callum Paterson's replacement when he leaves the club later this year once he recovers from knee ligament damage. (Edinburgh Evening News)

John Brown and Paul Murray
Could John Brown, pictured with Rangers director Paul Murray, be Pedro Caixinha's assistant at Ibrox?

Celtic defender Mikael Lustig labels Barcelona star Neymar "football's biggest actor", having tangled with the Brazilian forward on Champions League duty. (Sun)

Sir Alex Ferguson will return to the Old Trafford dugout once more for Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick's testimonial. (Daily Mail)

Raith Rovers midfielder Ross Matthews was hit on the side of the head by a coin launched from among the Dundee United fans on Saturday at Stark's Park. (Courier)

Charlie Mulgrew, who left Celtic after six successful years to head to Blackburn Rovers, feels "more prepared now and that I'm a better player, more experienced, I feel it's improved me". In terms of his favoured position, the 31-year-old Scotland player said: "I do prefer centre-half or midfield, but I'd like to play as long as I can and defence is probably my best chance to do that." (Scotsman)

Burnley star Scott Arfield insists Rangers were to blame for Joey Barton's disastrous spell at Ibrox. "I honestly think it was Rangers who created the problem. They didn't use him properly and that was the downfall. Joey's a massive character, a leader and a winner. Yeah, he can rattle a few cages. But those are the guys who can also inspire a full dressing room. It seems to me like the Rangers players just couldn't hack him or didn't want to hear some home truths." (Daily Mail)

OTHER GOSSIP

Judy Murray is unveiled as the latest ambassador for the badminton World Championships which come to Glasgow later in the year. "I'm a huge badminton fan. When I was young, I played tennis in the summer and badminton in the winter and got to junior international level," she says. (Scotsman)

Ken Buchanan is sure that Josh Taylor will be Scotland's next world champion. Taylor returns to the ring at Meadowbank Sports Centre on Friday night to defend his Commonwealth super-lightweight crown against South African Warren Joubert. "I believe Josh will go to the very top because he's got the whole package. He has the punches, the movement and the dedication, with the way he behaves and looks after himself," says Buchanan. (Sun)

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