Scottish Gossip: Stokes, Paterson, Celtic, Gerrard, Barton, Rangers

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Birmingham City are expected to launch a bid to sign Celtic's Anthony Stokes, who finished the season on loan at Hibernian and won the Scottish Cup. (Scotland on Sunday)external-link

Scotland coach Gordon Strachan has urged his players to "be brave" against Italy and France over the next six days. (Sunday Herald)external-link

And the national boss has vowed to give young players a chance in a bid to make the World Cup in Russia. (Sun)external-link

Darren Fletcher, 32, will become Scotland's joint-fifth cap holder with his 72nd against Italy in Malta on Sunday evening but admits he will have to produce something special to get close to the four players ahead of him in the all-time list. (Sunday Mail)external-link

Hearts full-back Callum Paterson is the most likely of Scotland's potential debutants to get the nod against the Italians. (Scotland on Sunday)external-link

Callum Paterson and Anthony Stokes
Paterson (left) could make his Scotland debut while Stokes may be heading to Birmingham

New manager Brendan Rodgers has backed captain Scott Brown to inspire Celtic the way Steven Gerrard did at Rodgers' former club Liverpool. (Sunday Mail)external-link

And Rodgers has confirmed he wants to work with Gerrard again. (Sun)external-link

Managing director Stewart Robertson has dismissed suggestions Rangers were responsible for Rodgers coming to Glasgow following a report that Celtic majority shareholder Dermot Desmond moved for the former Liverpool boss after seeing how Rangers directors celebrated the Ibrox club's Scottish Cup semi-final win over Celtic. (Sunday Mail)external-link

New Rangers midfielder Joey Barton aims to be a good mentor for younger players at Ibrox and help them avoid football's "pitfalls". (Mail on Sunday)external-link

Scotland full-back Andrew Robertson was relieved Hull City beat Sheffield Wednesday to win Saturday's play-off final and seal a place in next season's Premier League after missing a sitter during the match at Wembley. (Sunday Herald)external-link

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