Scottish Gossip: Scotland, Man Utd, Celtic, Rangers, Hearts, Aberdeen, Hibs, Kilmarnock, Aston Villa

Football gossip

FOOTBALL GOSSIP

Alex McLeish persuaded the Scottish FA to delay the announcement of his first national squad, pushed back from Thursday to Monday, despite the governing body's marketing men wanting to start promoting ticket sales for this month's friendly with Costa Rica at Hampden. (Daily Mail, print edition)

Jim Stewart has been axed as Scotland goalkeeping coach after 16 years in post, with Celtic's Stevie Woods poised to replace him. (Scottish Sun)

Former Manchester United and Scotland manager Sir Alex Ferguson played a key role in persuading Old Trafford midfielder Scott McTominay to commit his international future to Scotland instead of England, according to his grandfather, Frank. (The National)

Bruce Rioch, the English-born former Scotland midfielder, has insisted Charlie Nicholas was talking rubbish by suggesting that Manchester United midfielder Scott McTominay and other English-born players were choosing to represent Scotland for reasons other than patriotic pride. (Daily Record)

Manchester United midfielder Scott McTominay decided he felt more Scottish than English five years ago, when he was 16, according to his grandfather, Frank. (Evening Times)

Mark McGhee, Gordon Strachan and Jim Stewart
Jim Stewart (right) has reportedly had his 16-year spell as Scotland goalkeeping coach ended

Former Manchester United and Scotland centre-half Gordon McQueen believes national manager Alex McLeish has secured the heir-apparent to departed captain Scott Brown after Old Trafford midfielder Scott McTominay decided against playing for England. (Daily Record)

Hearts goalkeeper Jon McLaughlin has been told to expect a first call-up to the Scotland squad next week and will be joined by Aberdeen centre-half Scott McKenna, Hearts defender John Souttar and Manchester United midfielder Scott McTominay ahead of friendlies against Costa Rica and Hungary. (Scottish Sun)

Hibernian striker Jamie Maclaren's hopes of playing in this summer's World Cup finals in Russia rose as he was named in Australia's squad for two friendlies later this month. (Edinburgh Evening News)

Former Kilmarnock manager and Rangers captain Lee McCulloch has left his new job with Lechia Gdansk after just seven weeks following the sacking of former Ibrox coach Adam Owen after a dismal run of form in the Polish top flight. (Daily Record)

On-loan Aston Villa midfielder Aaron Tshibola has opened the door to an extended stay with Kilmarnock. (Daily Record)

Kilmarnock manager Steve Clarke has called into question the competence of Scottish Professional Football League administrators over his side's backlog of fixtures. (The Times)

Rangers left-back Lee Wallace inched towards a return to competitive action ahead of Sunday's Old Firm visit by Celtic by playing 90 minutes of a specially-arranged friendly against St Mirren on Tuesday. (Scottish Sun)

Kilmarnock midfielder Aaron Tshibola
Aston Villa's Aaron Tshibola is open to the possibility of extending his stay with Kilmarnock

Rangers manager Graeme Murty believes Alfredo Morelos will line up against Celtic on Sunday with a "chip on his shoulder" that can help him break his scoring duck in Old Firm fixtures as the club's top scorer has netted only three times against current top six clubs so far. (The Scotsman)

Former Rangers manager Mark Warburton believes the Ibrox club's players, brimming with confidence after 23 goals in six straight wins, will be convinced that Premiership leaders Celtic are there for the taking on Sunday. (Scottish Sun)

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers has hailed striker Moussa Dembele as a big-game hunter and has backed him to show his class in Sunday's top-of-the-table meeting with city rivals Rangers. (Daily Express)

OTHER GOSSIP

Wing Tommy Seymour, who has a back complaint, is Scotland's main injury doubt ahead of Wednesday's announcement of the team to face Ireland in Saturday's crucial Six Nations match against Ireland in Dublin. (The Scotsman)

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