Scottish Gossip: James McCarthy, Celtic, Lionel Messi, Aberdeen, Rangers, Hearts

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FOOTBALL GOSSIP

Celtic are putting together an ambitious loan deal for Everton midfielder James McCarthy, who they want to sign in January. (The Herald)

Manager Brendan Rodgers claims lifting the League Cup with Celtic on Sunday would mean "zero" to him on a personal level. (Daily Express)

Rodgers has revealed Scott Sinclair still has a fighting chance of making the cup final against Aberdeen. (Daily Mail)

Malky Mackay is the man to knock the SFA's youth programme into shape, according to Rodgers. Mackay was interviewed for the performance director role on Thursday. (Daily Record)

Lionel Messi has praised the Celtic fans for creating a "great atmosphere" during Barcelona's 2-0 Champions League win at Parkhead. (Scottish Sun)

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes insists the Dons can be the side to finally end Celtic's unbeaten domestic run this season. (Daily Record)

McInnes has urged his Aberdeen players to give the rest of Scottish football hope by upsetting the odds and beating the Scottish champions at Hampden. (Daily Star)

James McCarthy
James McCarthy is reportedly a January loan target for Celtic

Rangers chairman Dave King admits the Ibrox club are still miles behind Celtic, but insists Mark Warburton must deliver European football to close the gap. (Daily Express)

King admits this season has been a disappointment to date and Rangers are further behind Celtic than he dared to imagine. (Daily Record)

King has pointed towards European qualification as being the trigger for any further significant spending on the Rangers squad. (Daily Mail)

Hearts midfielder Don Cowie has laughed off suggestions of a crisis at Tynecastle because they have supposedly already been through one this season. (Daily Mail)

St Mirren were forced to postpone the Scottish Cup visit of Spartans after their under-soil heating packed in. (Daily Record)

OTHER GOSSIP

Scotland assistant coach Nathan Hines says his team will not take Georgia lightly after making that mistake against the same opponents at the 2011 World Cup, when they scraped a nervy 15-6 win. (Daily Record)

Rob Harley says nobody should be surprised if Georgia shoot down Scotland on Saturday because they are gunning for the world's top nations. (The National)

European rugby can triple its commercial opportunities by introducing promotion and relegation from the Six Nations Championship, according to Octavian Morariu, the president of Rugby Europe. (The Herald)

Stephen Hendry has backed John Higgins to become the first player to break the £1m barrier in a season. (Daily Record)

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