Scottish Gossip: St Johnstone, Rangers, Pedro Caixinha, Neil Lennon, Graham Dorrans

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FOOTBALL GOSSIP

St Johnstone boss Tommy Wright is desperate for new players after seeing his team knocked out of the Europa League first qualifying stage by FK Trakai in Vilnius. After the 1-0 loss, which resulted in a 3-1 aggregate defeat, Wright said: "I believe the squad is crying out for a little bit of help and hopefully we can get that because it's frustrating for me as a manager. This was a game we shouldn't have lost."(Daily Mail)

Partick Thistle have opened talks with Rangers about signing 26-year-old winger Michael O'Halloran, who has three years left on his contract, but they face competition from his former club St Johnstone. (Sun)

Former Rangers captain Barry Ferguson believes his former club have "the biggest four weeks ever" as they lead up to their Scottish Premiership opener away to Motherwell. Ferguson says it is too early to say if Rangers have made a mistake in appointing Pedro Caixinha but he thinks the manager won't be afforded too much time to get things right.(Daily Record)

Twenty years ago this summer Rangers tried to sign the world's best player at the time, the Brazilian striker Ronaldo. "This shows we are now talking about existing on a completely different plane," David Murray, the Rangers chairman, said in 1997. (Scotsman)

Ronaldo in action for Brazil
Chairman David Murray claimed in 1997 that he tried to bring the Brazilian striker Ronaldo to Rangers

Hibernian head coach Neil Lennon says new Hearts striker Kyle Lafferty "reneged on his word" about his transfer. Lafferty was due at Hibs' training ground for signing talks last week but spent the day at Hearts. Says Lennon: "The player gave me his word he would come and speak to me before he signed with anyone else. Lafferty doesn't have to apologise to Hibs, or me. But agent Keith Gillespie and his partner didn't come to Edinburgh for a day out, they came here hoping to agree business. What happened, I thought, was especially harsh for them."(Sun)

Lennon revealed he's going to give 34-year-old former Arsenal and Liverpool winger Jermaine Pennant every chance to win himself a contract at Easter Road. He has been training with Hibs for almost a fortnight and played in the pre-season friendly against Dunfermline as a triallist. (Edinburgh Evening News)

Aberdeen assistant manager Tony Docherty believes the Dons will be ready for their Bosnian Europa League opponents NK Siroki Brijeg at Pittodrie next Thursday in the second qualifying round first leg.(Evening Express)

Aberdeen are aiming to secure a signing before Uefa's registration deadline for the Europa League closes at midnight on Friday. They still hope to sign Shaun Maloney but he needs a hernia operation, and if they lose out on Preston's Stevie May they could go for Motherwell striker Louis Moult, who would cost about £500,000. (Evening Express)

"We are linked with a lot of players," says Docherty of potential Dons signings. "There is a lot of work going on in the background. We are very specific about what we bring in and sometimes that means it takes a bit more time to make sure we bring in the right ones."(Press and Journal)

Motherwell striker Louis Moult
Louis Moult helped Motherwell to a 2-1 Premiership win over Aberdeen in March 2016

"He's a quiet boy. He will let his football do the talking," says friend and former team-mate Robert Snodgrass of new Rangers signing Graham Dorrans. "I don't know much about the new signings but Graham is definitely the best signing Rangers have made in a long time. He loves Rangers, he absolutely adores them, and it will mean everything for him to play for his boyhood club." (Daily Record)

Belgian defender Dedryck Boyata could miss Celtic's Champions League qualifying campaign after rupturing knee ligaments in Tuesday's friendly with Slavia Prague.(Daily Record)

Neil McCann is confident 25-year-old goalkeeper Scott Bain wants to spend the season with Dundee. Bain rejected a new deal under former manager Paul Hartley and was expected to be sold this summer but new boss McCann has held talks with him and believes he'll stay. (Sun)

OTHER GOSSIP

Judy Murray implores the authorities to invest in tennis: "We don't have the strength in depth that we should have for a grand-slam nation. We have players at the top of the game but I really do believe that any sport is only as good as its grass roots. We need to invest in people to deliver more fun activity that keeps people in the game."(Daily Telegraph)

World number one Andy Murray wants to mentor a top sporting prospect when he retires and is looking at possibilities in tennis, golf, football, rugby and athletics. The plan is for a sporting prospect to join Murray's management company 77, which was set up in 2013 to cater for the Wimbledon champion. (Daily Mail)

Josh Taylor and Ohara Davies attend the press conference
Ohara Davies was dismissive of Josh Taylor and his management team at Thursday's media conference in Glasgow

Ahead of his super-lightweight bout against Prestonpans' Josh Taylor at Braehead Arena on Saturday, Hackney's Ohara Davies calls Taylor and his promoter Barry McGuigan "bums" and declares at Thursday's press conference: "Boxing is about being free, being yourself and entertaining. I don't turn up with a script or a pen or pad so I don't know what I'm going to say. I'm freestyle. You're lucky I came here. I wasn't going to turn up but I thought I'd come and talk a bit of trash, entertain people."(Scotsman)

Commonwealth champion Taylor is confident he will have too much for undefeated opponent Davies, who is known as "Two Tanks". (Herald)

The British Horseracing Authority has given Musselburgh Racecourse a stay of execution over the issue of renewing its licence in time for the next meeting at the East Lothian track.(National)

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