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Old Firm turn focus to title and new faces as Neil Lennon and Steven Gerrard look to strengthen squads

Dorsch is believed to have a €3.2 million release fee in his contract with FC Heidenheim, which Celtic do not see as a barrier to a possible January move.

Meanwhile, Rangers – who travel to Livingston – are braced for new year swoops for Alfredo Morelos. The Colombia striker has said in interviews in his home country he wants to play in the Premier League in England and he has become a more alluring prospect having heeded Steven Gerrard’s order to clean up his disciplinary record.

Morelos was top scorer in the Scottish Premiership last season, a feat disfigured frequently by a hot temper that also meant he finished with the worst disciplinary record with no fewer than five red cards, the last of which – incurred against Celtic at Parkhead – triggered a four-match suspension.

This season Morelos has been sanctioned five times – all cautions – and has scored 21 goals, 11 in the Europa League, including one away to Porto and another in Thursday’s 2-0 victory over the Portuguese team at Ibrox.

Rangers’ most recent financial results posted a record turnover but also an £11 million loss and the need for chairman Dave King to find £10 million to see the club to the end of the season could present the Ibrox board with a dilemma if Morelos attracts substantial bids in January. Morelos is virtually priceless to Gerrard, who said: “I’d be as strong as I could be with my opinions, but I don’t own the club. We expect bids to land.

“Then that decision will be taken out of my hands but Dave King and the board know what my feelings would be. It’s OK saying we’d have a list of replacements – but you can never predict whether a replacement would do as well as the player already here.

“It takes time to build a team, a style and a way of playing. If you take big pieces of that jigsaw away, sometimes where you want to get to can take an awful lot longer.”

Saturday saw both Edinburgh clubs’ caretaker managers stake a claim for the full-time jobs. Hearts, led by Austin McPhee, hammered bottom club St Mirren 5-2 through Steven Naismith, a Sean McLoughlin own goal, Oliver Bozanic, Jamie Walker and Jake Mulraney. St Mirren had twice equalised through Jonathan Obika and Danny Mullen. Hibs, with Eddie May in the dug-out, thrashed St Johnstone 4-1 as Christian Doidge hit a hat-trick.

Aberdeen moved into third with a 3-1 win at Ross County despite going a goal down to an early penalty while Kilmarnock and Hamilton drew 2-2.


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