Scottish Gossip: Rangers, Aberdeen, Craig Whyte, Ian Cathro, Celtic

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FOOTBALL GOSSIP

Former Rangers chairman Alastair Johnston, who is the chairman of Arnold Palmer Enterprises, will fly to Glasgow after the Masters to be the chief prosecution witness at the High Court. He will be testifying against former Rangers owner Craig Whyte, whose trial starting on 18 April is scheduled to last three months. (Daily Mail)

Liverpool emerge as the favourites to sign Celtic striker Moussa Dembele, who has scored 32 goals in 46 games in his first season at the club. (Daily Express)

Hearts head coach Ian Cathro says of Sam Nicholson's spit in the direction of linesman Stephen Mitchell in Wednesday's defeat away to St Johnstone: "He is guilty of a stupid action, stupid behaviour though frustration, which affected the team." (Sun)

Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell thinks "world-class manager" Brendan Rodgers is the ideal person to lead the club to 10 titles in a row. Rodgers has signed a new deal to manage Celtic until 2021. (Daily Record)

Brendan Rodgers and Peter Lawwell shake hands
Manager Brendan Rodgers and chief executive Peter Lawwell shake hands on the Northern Irishman's new deal at Celtic

With Rodgers signing a new contract at Celtic, Lawwell says to potential suitors: "Don't bother, don't waste your time. The message is clear. We want him here for at least the length of his contract. We have plans. We have ambition." (Herald)

Ahead of his team's trip to Pittodrie on Sunday, Rangers boss Pedro Caixinha hands journalists a sheet predicting what the Aberdeen team will be. The Portuguese says of the Dons: "They play collectively and fight for their goals. I see it as a fantastic challenge, to see if we have solutions to beat that passion." (Daily Record)

Aberdeen goalkeeper Joe Lewis says he was hugely relieved when Rangers appointed Caixinha as Mark Warburton's successor because he feared Dons boss Derek McInnes might leave for Ibrox. (Press and Journal)

Former Celtic striker John Hartson expresses sympathy for Darian MacKinnon, recalling how he himself "got away with" making an offensive gesture to the Cardiff City fans while playing for Luton in an FA Cup tie in Wales. "It strikes me as being totally unfair that MacKinnon is painted as the bad guy when you consider the abuse he must have taken," says Hartson of the Hamilton midfielder's red card for gesturing to the Motherwell fans in midweek. (Sun)

Partick Thistle defender Liam Lindsay believes his team can not only make the top half when the Premiership splits but finish higher up the table than sixth spot. (National)

OTHER GOSSIP

Gregor Townsend feels he focused too much on Saracens and not enough on his own Glasgow Warriors team in the Champions Cup quarter-final defeat, but hopes to put things right away to Munster in Cork on Saturday night. (Daily Telegraph)

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