Scottish Gossip: North Atlantic League, Celtic, Aberdeen, Rangers

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Plans to increase the number of automatic Champions League group stage places for teams from Europe's top leagues - and thus make it more difficult for teams from small countries to qualify - have put plans for a North Atlantic League back on the agenda. Clubs from Scotland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden and Denmark have started discussions over a 20-team league. (Daily Mail)

But Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell believes Uefa's new plans for the Champions League from 2018 are a win for Scottish football with champions from smaller nations at least offered access to the tournament rather than being shut out altogether. (Daily Record)

Scottish Professional Football League chief executive Neil Doncaster has vowed to continue fighting changes to the Champions League in order to protect Scottish clubs' interests. (National)

Brendan Rodgers and Peter Lawwell
Lawwell (right) is relieved there will still be a route to the Champions League for clubs like Celtic

Brendan Rodgers insists Celtic must capitalise on their passionate home support in Champions League Group C games against Barcelona, Manchester City and Borussia Monchengladbach. (Daily Express)

Manager Rodgers believes Celtic can reach the last 16 of the tournament if they win their home games. (Herald)

Barcelona's Lionel Messi has warned his team-mates to beware a Celtic side hungry for success. (Daily Record)

Aberdeen may gamble on the fitness of captain Ryan Jack in Saturday's Premiership meeting with Celtic in Glasgow. The midfielder might require knee surgery in the near future. (Daily Record)

Ryan Jack
Jack did not feature last week for the Dons

Manager Mark Warburton described the first half of Friday's 1-1 draw at Kilmarnock as the "worst" of his time in charge of Rangers. (Scotsman)

Meanwhile, Warburton does not believe Joey Barton is a "marked man" after Killie's Greg Taylor was dismissed for a challenge on the Rangers midfielder. (Daily Record)

Selkirk player-manager and former Scotland striker Garry O'Connor, currently in need of a back operation, is enjoying managing but misses playing, having last scored in a Lowland League match with Edinburgh University. "My last-ever? If it is to be then I'll just have to deal with it," he says. (Scotsman)


Andy Murray insists there is no bad blood between himself and US Open first-round opponent Lukas Rosol after a bad-tempered encounter between the pair at last year's Munich Open. (Scotsman)

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