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Summary

  1. Hearts head coach Robbie Neilson travels to MK Dons to agree personal terms
  2. Craig Levein seeks 'young, intelligent, enthusiastic' candidate to succeed Neilson
  3. Gary Naysmith new manager at Queen of the South
  4. Championship: Dundee United v Hibernian (19:45 GMT)

Live Reporting

By Thomas McGuigan, Colin Moffat and Andrew Southwick

All times stated are UK

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Hats off to Hibs

Scott Davie

BBC Scotland

Hibernian are getting into the festive spirit by putting out green Santa hats for their 2,700 strong away support this evening at Tannadice.

We'll have coverage of Dundee United v Hibs (kick off 19:45) on BBC Radio Scotland and the BBC Sport website.

Santa hats
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Robbie Neilson

English League One side MK Dons appoint Hearts head coach Robbie Neilson as their new manager.

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Done deal for Neilson

Robbie Neilson has officially been announced as the new manager at MK Dons.

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Samson seeks home comfort against Celtic

Goalkeeper Craig Samson is looking for Motherwell to utilise home advantage and make it third time lucky against Celtic in Saturday's lunchtime kick-off. 

Motherwell have been beaten 5-0 and 2-0 at Celtic Park this season.

However, Samson insists Fir Park can give Mark McGhee's side an edge as they look to become the first Scottish team to beat the league leaders and Betfred Cup winners this season. 

"We have got to take our home form into it and hopefully get something out of the game here," he said. "You just want to play in front of your home fans, it is not Celtic Park being more daunting. At Celtic there is 60,000 fans there that want you to get beat whereas here it is a lot different. We have our fans there, wanting us to win. There is not as much noise from them and it does make a difference. 

"Everybody would rather play at home than play away from home. It is your own surroundings, some of them won't have played here before. That is something we can hopefully take advantage of and get a result." 

Motherwell goalkeeper Craig Samson
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Stands ownership passing to Caley Thistle

Martin Dowden

BBC Sport Scotland

The spirit of Christmas seems to be in full force in the Highlands with Inverness CT receiving an offer to gift ownership of their stands from Tulloch Homes.

Tulloch’s built the north and south stands in 2004-05, leasing the stadium to the club since then.

If accepted, the club will assume immediate ownership of the three stands - which cost over £6m to build.

“It is a truly magnificent offer,” said chairman Kenny Cameron. “It gives us great confidence in our future and will enable us to invest in other aspects of the club.

“The progress of the club to its present position would not have been possible without the company’s ongoing generosity and this offer represents the latest chapter in a relationship which has greatly benefitted the club."

Tulloch Caledonian Stadium
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Robert Rowan

Richard Wilson

BBC Scotland

Could Scottish clubs learn from the B-team model at Brentford as focus moves away from expensive elite academies?

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Get Involved - Hearts' managerial vacancy

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Rangers have to get better - Warburton

Mark Warburton has backed his Rangers players to bounce back from the midweek defeat by Hearts.

The Rangers boss put the 2-0 loss at Tynecastle down to "a bad day at the office".

"The fact is it's a tough division and points don't come easy," he said. 

"Yes, you may beat two teams around you but if you lose the next four games against teams lower than you, it's irrelevant. 

"Dropping points hurts, especially at a club like Rangers. Dropping any points hurts." 

"The players are an honest group. They are the first to admit, we are the first to admit, that we didn't go through the movements in a dynamic enough fashion to get the results we were after. 

"There is no lack of belief. We are asking players to be brave, and maybe try things they are not used to. But the fact is they wouldn't come here if they weren't good enough to do it..."

Rangers boss Mark Warburton
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"Dropping points hurts," says Rangers boss Mark Warburton

Rangers host Aberdeen at Ibrox tomorrow and midfielder Andy Halliday says the Ibrox side must raise their game.

"It's key that we need to start faster in games because the first 10-15 minutes, in our opinion, is too slow a tempo," he said. "Something has to change."

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Get Involved - Hearts' vacancy

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Hearts working at 'seamless' transition

Asked whether leaving Scotland's top flight to join MK Dons in English League One was a step down, Hearts director of football Craig Levein said: "I don't want to be disrespectful to MK Dons. 

"They have a bigger stadium than us and have the potential to be a big team. But he [Robbie Neilson] goes with my best wishes. On a personal level I really like him. 

"The amount of work he put in here to take us back to where we should be I will be eternally grateful. Once he had made his mind up, for me to try to persuade him... I don't know if you know Robbie but he is very much his own man. 

"At some point we had an idea this would happen so we are working away behind the scenes to try to make it as seamless as possible."

Outgoing Hearts head coach Robbie Neilson
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"Robbie is very much his own man," says Craig Levein

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Hearts director of football Craig Levein

Brian McLauchlin

BBC Sport Scotland

"I haven't spoken to Robbie today. I know last night we agreed terms with MK Dons and I assume he is signing his contract today. 

"Robbie is a very logical person and he explained to me he has always wanted to manage at the top level in England.

"And he explained to me that if he could go down to England in a good stable job, and do a good job, he saw that as his pathway. Whether I agree with him or not is irrelevant."

Hearts' director of football Craig Levein and outgoing head coach Robbie Neilson
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Neilson wants to manage "at the top level," Levein revealed

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Levein confident Hearts are on the right path

Brian McLauchlin

BBC Sport Scotland at Oriam

Craig Levein says the head coach role at Hearts is both "attractive and pressured". 

"There is a lot of expectation that comes with being the manager here. As I know myself, it's not the easiest of jobs. When you get to a club this size people expect you to win every week. That is something the new head coach will understand.

"There have been loads of applicants. Every year there are more and more guys coming out of the Uefa licence and looking for work. There are guys who are in work. It just gets harder and harder and the competition gets more and more difficult. Many of the applicants fit the profile. 

"Way back when I was discussing with Ann (Budge) what she wanted to do, that was the model. It was developing players and developing coaches. I think Robbie was a huge success and it will be a tall order for whoever comes in after him to get to that level. But I am confident the club is heading in the right direction. There are a lot of good things going on."

Tight tracksuits rule out Levein return

Chris McLaughlin

BBC Sport Scotland

"Craig Levein wouldn't be drawn on reports that the Newcastle coach Ian Cathro is the man they want. Robbie Neilson left for League One side MK Dons yesterday after two and a half years in charge. Levein says he understands his decision to leave but admitted it could be a step down in the hope of making a step up. Levein, who had a spell as Hearts manager, said he wasn't tempted to return to the dugout because he might enjoy it too much and the tracksuits are too tight. The club are hoping to appoint their new manager in time for next week's league match against Rangers at Ibrox."

New coach must be 'young, intelligent, energetic, enthusiastic'

Brian McLauchlin

BBC Sport Scotland at Oriam

And more from Craig Levein at the Hearts media conference: "I'm not going to get involved in talking about individuals. But when we get the new man in you can ask as many questions as you like. 

"The profile hasn't changed from Robbie. We are looking for a young, intelligent, energetic, enthusiastic coach who can help us move on from where we are. We want to get someone in who can improve us. 

"I don't think it is vital (to have worked with them before) but the structure is important. There are two positions obviously that we need to fill. With John and Andy (Kirk) looking after the first team tomorrow it gives me a bit of space to look for Robbie's successor. It would be nice (to have a new man in for the trip to Ibrox next week) - whether I am optimistic or not is irrelevant. But I am hopeful."

Neilson is 'his own man'

Brian McLauchlin

BBC Sport Scotland at Oriam

Craig Levein was asked if Robbie Neilson was taking a step down to take a step up. He replied: "Yeah. I don't want to be disrespectful to MK Dons. They have a bigger stadium than us and have the potential to be a big team. But he goes with my best wishes. On a personal level I really like him. (For) the amount of work he put in here to take us back to where we should be, I will be eternally grateful. Once he had made his mind up, for me to try and persuade him... I don't know if you know Robbie but he is very much his own man. At some point we had an idea this would happen so we are working away behind the scenes to try and make it as seamless as possible." 

Craig Levein and Robbie Neilson
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A pathway to the top

Brian McLauchlin

BBC Sport Scotland at Oriam

Hearts director of football Craig Levein: "I haven't spoken to Robbie today. I know last night we agreed terms with MK Dons and I assume he is signing his contract today. Robbie is a very logical person and he explained to me has always said he wanted to manage at the top level in England and he explained to me that if he could go down to England in a good stable job and do a good job he saw that as his pathway. Whether I agree with him or not is irrelevant."

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On the back pages

Here's a taster of what's in our gossip column this morning:

  • Hearts' director of football Craig Levein will take charge of the first team for the league game against Ross County in Dingwall on Saturday, as head coach Robbie Neilson and assistant Stevie Crawford travel to Milton Keynes on Friday to complete their move to MK Dons
  • Derby County manager Steve McLaren admits he's keeping an eye on four Hearts players - Callum Paterson, Jamie Walker, John Souttar and Bjorn Johnsen. McLaren and his backroom team were at Tynecastle to watch the win over Rangers
  • Hibernian head coach Neil Lennon is keen to sign St Johnstone attacking midfielder Danny Swanson
  • Rangers manager Mark Warburton hopes to sign a European "dynamic, goalscoring midfielder" in the January transfer window to replace the injured Croat Niko Kranjcar until the end of the season.

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Read the Scottish gossip column.

Hearts defenders John Souttar and Callum Paterson
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Hearts defenders John Souttar and Callum Paterson are attracting interest from Derby County

Good morning

Good morning and welcome to BBC Scotland's rolling news page covering the latest hot topics in Scottish football. Robbie Neilson should complete his switch from Hearts to MK Dons later today. Half an hour from now we'll relay what Hearts' director of football Craig Levein is saying at the club's media conference at Oriam, the national performance centre in Edinburgh. Plus we'll have team news ahead of the weekend's fixtures and we'll build up to the meeting of the Championship's top two this evening, when Dundee United host leaders Hibernian.