A full round-up of the Hearts/Hibs news making the headlines this morning, as well as stories from the rest of Scotland and beyond.
Hearts sweat over UBIG
Hearts administrators are still awaiting the arrival of a draft deal from Lithuania which would let the club come out of administration.
A verbal agreement is said to have been made with UBIG over their 50% shareholding. (Daily Express)
Terry Butcher today admitted he shares the frustration of Hibs fans over the lack of January arrivals at Easter Road but again insisted he won’t make signings simply for the sake of it, declaring: “Our reputation is on the line.”
While only eight days of the transfer window remain, Butcher has yet to clinch a deal, leaving supporters looking enviously at the like of Ross County where the Staggies manager Derek Adams has signed five new players already. (Full story in the Edinburgh Evening News)
Locke anger at refs
Gary Locke has said bad refereeing has piled extra pressure on his Hearts side.
Locke is sick of having to phone referee chief John Flemming to complain about poor decisions. (Daily Record)
Come and have a go
Terry Butcher says playing Celtic is like a carnival stall, with all SPFL clubs rolling up to see if they can topple the champions.
The Hibs boss came close to beating Celtic with Inverness in August but their 2-0 lead at half time gave way to a draw. (Various)
Pair out to replace Stevenson
Sam Nicholson and Scott Robinson are vying to replace the suspended Ryan Stevenson for Hearts’ trip to Ross County on Saturday.
Stevenson begins a two-match suspension following his red card at St Johnstone last weekend and Nicholson and Robinson are the main contenders to step in. (Full story in the Edinburgh Evening News)
Fletcher set for comeback
Scotland star Darren Fletcher is set to make his international comeback against Poland in March.
The Manchester United player has been absent for 15 months due to a serious bowel condition (Sun)
Fan purchase hopes
Proposals to give football fans first right to buy their clubs will be unveiled by the Greens today.
The Scottish Green Party wants the right-to-buy principle that was established during rural land reforms to be extended to allow supporters of football clubs to do this.
• Scotland striker Jordan Rhodes has sought no talks with Gordon Strachan over the manager’s comments that the national side’s system did not suit his style.
• St Johnstone defender Tam Scobbie will miss the League Cup semi-finals after receiving a two-match ban for an attempted headbutt on Hearts player Brad McKay.
• Defender Mihael Kovacevic has left Ross County.
• Celtic midfielder Nir Biton is feeling comfortable at Parkhead after experiencing an initial culture shock when he moved to Scottish football.
• Rangers centre-back Bilel Mohsni has set himself a 20-goal target this season.
• Partick midfielder Stevie Lawless has backed Chris Erskine to provide the spark that will ignite Thistle’s fight for survival.
• Juan Mata is expected to undergo a medical on Thursday before completing his club record transfer to Manchester United.
• Sunderland boss Gus Poyet hailed a “great night” for his players and the club’s fans after the Wearside outfit secured a place in the Capital One Cup final at the expense of Manchester United in dramatic circumstances at Old Trafford.
• Southampton appointed Gareth Rogers as interim chief executive officer on Wednesday as owner Katharina Liebherr declared her intention to stabilise the club after a torrid week off the field.
• The gloom surrounding Manchester United’s current predicament may deepen further after the club dropped out of the top three of Europe’s top-earning clubs for the first time.
• Manchester City have completed a takeover of A-League team Melbourne Heart.