Friday's Scottish Gossip: McLeish, Scotland, Celtic, Morelos, Hearts

Football gossip

FOOTBALL GOSSIP

Alex McLeish is the new Scotland manager after being appointed on a deal until 2020 - taking charge of the national side for a second spell. The 59-year-old spent less than a year in charge of the team in 2007, narrowly missing out on qualification for Euro 2008. (Daily Record)

Brendan Rodgers believes Celtic have a great chance to reach the last 16 of the Europa League after their first leg win over Zenit St Petersburg. "I thought it was a brilliant performance from start to finish, we limited them to very few opportunities," he said. "We've given ourselves a wonderful opportunity [to progress]." (Daily Record)

Hearts manager Craig Levein insists Demetri Mitchell has what it takes to become a Manchester United star. Mitchell, who has joined Hearts on loan, has impressed the Tynecastle boss. "In all seriousness, of all the loan deals I have ever done, he has been the most impressive," says Levein. (Scottish Sun)

Alex McLeish
Alex McLeish has returned to Scotland for a second spell in charge

Rangers have rejected a fourth bid for Alfredo Morelos as two South American clubs also make approaches. Chinese side Beijing Renhe haven't given up hope of landing the 21-year-old Colombian before the Chinese transfer window closes on 28 February. (Scottish Sun)

Hibernian boss Neil Lennon claims Aberdeen are the best side his players have come up against this season. Lennon's side have picked up points against both Celtic and Rangers - but have yet to do so against the Dons. "They're in good form, they're free-scoring at the minute, so it's going to be a tough game," says Lennon ahead of Saturday's clash at Easter Road. (Scottish Sun)

"Return Mission" - Alex McLeish has secured a dream return as Scotland manager. Pushed heavily by SFA vice-president Rod Petrie, the decision to restore McLeish to a post he last held in 2007 was waved through unanimously by the SFA board. (Daily Mail, print edition)

Former Rangers captain Barry Ferguson fears James Tavernier won't be at Ibrox long enough to cross off his bucket list of ambitions: captain the club; win a Treble and play in the Champions League for Rangers. "If he continues to improve at the rate he has done this season, I honestly don't think he'll be around for that long," says Ferguson. (Daily Record)

Craig Levein deserves credit for having the courage to step back into the managerial firing line at Hearts, according to Ross County counterpart Owen Coyle. "It would've been easy for Craig just to sit in the director of football role and be comfortable but he loves the game, loves his club - and all credit to him for taking the step he did," says Coyle.

Rangers striker Alfredo Morelos
Rangers have rejected a fourth bid for in-demand striker Alfredo Morelos

"I think it's my best - in terms of a finish," says Celtic's Callum McGregor of his winner against Zenit St Petersburg in the first leg of their Europa League tie. (Herald)

OTHER GOSSIP

Finn Russell will shake off his jitters and rediscover his best form for Scotland, according to Glasgow Warriors boss Dave Rennie. "He has been working hard on his game and I have no doubt he will be okay," says Rennie. (Daily Record)

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