Scottish Gossip: Shaun Maloney, Scotland, World Cup, Joey Barton

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FOOTBALL GOSSIP

Scotland attacker Shaun Maloney thinks Scotland's 18-year absence from a major finals is "getting close to desperation stakes for the nation". (Various)

Former Scotland and Manchester United midfielder Lou Macari believes it would be "perfectly fitting" if it were Darren Fletcher who captained Scotland to a European Championship or World Cup finals. (Daily Mail)

Scotland right-back Callum Paterson was always destined for the top, with his athleticism just one of his many attributes, believes his former manager at Hearts, Gary Locke. (Daily Record)

Chris Martin, now at Fulham on loan from Derby County, admits he felt fortunate to have been handed a start by Gordon Strachan for the 5-1 win over Malta, a match in which he scored. (Daily Record)

Deividas Cesnauskis engages in a bit of chest-bump celebrations with Hearts team-mate Steven Pressley after scoring against Celtic in the Scottish Cup semi-final in 2005
Deividas Cesnauskis engages in a bit of chest-bump celebrations with Hearts team-mate Steven Pressley after scoring against Celtic in the Scottish Cup semi-final in 2005

Lithuania's Deividas Cesnauskis recalls his time at Hearts with great fondness and hopes to score at Hampden again like he did against Celtic at that ground in 2005. (Daily Mail)

Former Scotland striker Kevin Gallacher thinks that, with 11 of the 28 players named in Strachan's squad playing in the Championship in England, the competitiveness of that league bodes well for Scotland's chances at Hampden on Saturday. (Daily Record)

Two of Lithuania's players face a long journey to join their team-mates for Saturday's World Cup qualifier against Scotland. Full-back Tomas Mikuckis plays for SKA-Khabarovsk in eastern Siberia and Vytautas Andriuskevicius for Portland Timbers in America's north-west. (Sun)

Scotland's game against Lithuania will be refereed by Germany's Tobias Stieler, a 35-year-old lawyer who will be making his international debut. (Daily Express)

Former Rangers winger Vladmir Weiss apologises to his family and the Slovakia coach and his international team-mates for the upheaval caused by his being taken into custody in Bratislava over allegedly refusing police requests to take a breathalyser test. (Various)

Zenit St Petersburg's Slovakian midfielder Robert Mak thinks the upcoming matches against Slovenia and Scotland will make or break his team's qualification campaign. (Various)

Rangers midfielder Joey Barton looks likely to face a ban of at least one game for betting on 44 matches. (Various)

Jonny Hayes
Jonny Hayes has 18 months left on his existing Aberdeen contract

Barton remains hopeful of playing for Rangers again as he nears the end of his three-week suspension by the club. No severance package has been agreed to end his two-year contract. (Daily Record)

Dutch football legend Ruud Gullit, who made his debut for FC Haarlem at 16, thinks 13-year-old Celtic prodigy Karamoko Dembele looks to be "exceptionally good". Gullit played under-18s football as a 14-year-old but he notes that he was taller and stronger than young Dembele. (Various)

Mark Hill, who played for Hamilton's second team aged 13, urges Dembele to hit the gym because his diminutive stature will make him a target for more physical players. (Various)

Aberdeen are ready to open contract talks with Jonny Hayes to extend the Republic of Ireland international's time at Pittodrie, with Northern Ireland's Niall McGinn also set for a new contract. (Daily Express)

Ahead of their Women's Champions League match against Eskilstuna, Glasgow City head coach Scott Booth describes the team's opponents as "a typical Swedish side, their defenders are huge". (Various)

Neil Doncaster, the chief executive of the Scottish Football Professional League, thinks Uefa's plans to revamp the Champions League, ring-fencing 16 of the 32 group-stage places for teams from the top-four-ranked nations, would make the competition a "closed league", would "remove that romance" that football can bring and ultimately lead to a loss of interest in the excluded leagues. (Various)

One-club man Tony Quinn heads off to celebrate a goal for Queen's Park
One-club man Tony Quinn heads off to celebrate a goal for Queen's Park

Doncaster speaks of drawing "a line in the sand now" with Uefa and warns that the move, where Scotland's champions would be vying for one of eight group-stage places rather than the current 10, would "damage irreversibly" leagues such as the Scottish Premiership. (Times)

Moussa Dembele believes staying at Celtic can lead him to become one of the world's best strikers. (Daily Record)

Jack Ross insists it is a "realistic ambition" to take his new club, St Mirren, back to Scotland's top tier. Ross takes over in Paisley with the Buddies propping up the Championship table. (Times)

St Mirren chairman Gordon Scott laments the imbalance in the squad, noting that there are "five strikers and only two can play every week...only three attacking midfielders, two holding midfielders and no left back". (Scotsman)

Queen's Park's 35-year-old midfielder Tony Quinn has decided to end his 15-year career with the Spiders after hip surgery failed to bring about a return to fitness. (Herald)

OTHER GOSSIP

Edinburgh fly-half Duncan Weir confirms that he will not have recovered from a broken jaw in time to play in Scotland's autumn Tests but hopes to play in the European Challenge Cup match against Stade Francais at the end of the year. (Times)

Promoter Eddie Hearn reveals that Ricky Burns would earn five times as much fighting Adrien Broner, possibly in December, than he will make taking on big-hitting Belarusian Kyril Relikh at the SSE Hydro on Friday. Burns turned down an immediate £1m purse to fight the American in favour of first defending his WBA world super-lightweight title against Relikh in Glasgow. (Times)

In his final season at Scotstoun, head coach Gregor Townsend dreams of leading Glasgow Warriors to European Champions Cup glory at Murrayfield next season, but admits the task is tough because the team have never even reached the last eight before. (Daily Mail)

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