News @ 9: Aberdeen hope to stand free in new stadium & more on MK’s Robbie raid

NEILSON NO MORE?: Hearts head coach Robbie Neilson looks set to join English third-tier side MK Dons. The 36-year-old was installed as bookies’ favourite yesterday before an approach was confirmed by the club last night. He reportedly headed down for talks today and it is looking increasingly likely that he will make the switch.

MK Dons had spoken to Steven Gerrard about the role but they have instead turned their attention to Neilson, who is in his third season in management. The Milton Keynes club are languishing in 20th in England’s League One and despite the vast amount of money available down south, it is surely a step down from one of the top clubs in Scotland. Scottish Cup winning manager Alan Stubbs, who left Hibs for Rotherham and lasted just over a dozen games, is another recent example that the grass is not always greener south of the border, despite the obvious wealth in their game.

Hearts’ silence on the approach speaks volumes and it seems their enormous league match against Rangers at Tynecastle will be Neilson’s last. Newcastle assistant manager Ian Cathro and former Hearts defender Steven Pressley are two of the names already being discussed as possible successors should Neilson choose to make the move.

ABERDEEN SET TO STAND FREE: Aberdeen are set to include a safe standing section in their new stadium at Kingsford. Chairman Stewart Milne confirmed last night at the club’s AGM that a standing area – like the one which has been in use at Celtic Park this season – is something they hope to include in the project, provided they get planning permission for it in the new year.

Safe standing has been popularised in Germany in the last few seasons and many clubs, including English Premier League sides, have been watching the success of the Celtic Park area with interest.

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RODGERS HOPES TO LAND LARIN: After Portland Timbers defender Darlington Nagbe was flown in to watch Celtic’s Champions League game against Barcelona, the Hoops have been linked with another Stateside star. Orlando City striker Cyle Larin, who has bagged 31 goals in 59 MLS league games, is reportedly catching the eye of Brendan Rodgers as he looks to recover from their Euro exit last week.

THEY SAID…

“We are obviously a bit disappointed to say the least in terms of four points from 12 which, if it had been six or seven we would all have had at least a half smile on our face.

“But it is mathematically possible and I still think Gordon can take us to the playoffs.” (Allan McRae, SFA President, with the most SFA answer in the history of SFA answers)

“I wouldn’t want anyone else. I don’t think there’s anyone better. Like top players, he’s got all the attributes.

“Fortunately for us, we’ve got him at the right time. For me anyway, I’m quite happy. He’s a good lad, but should be playing at the top level really.” (Cardiff manager Neil Warnock says ex-Dunfermline and Hibs player Sol Bamba is the best defender in the Championship, and should be playing at a higher level. Yes, that Sol Bamba!)