Celtic want Tom Rogic for Rangers game as Hibs face derby absences

By Brian McLauchlin & Kheredine IdessaneBBC Sport Scotland
Celtic midfielder Tom Rogic
Four of the eight goals Rogic scored last season came against Rangers

Celtic remain hopeful that Tom Rogic will be available for the Old Firm derby against Rangers, despite the Australian's Asian Cup call-up.

Rogic has been selected for the finals, along with Hibs' Martin Boyle, Mark Milligan and Jamie Maclaren.

The Football Federation Australia (FFA) has told BBC Scotland the quartet cannot play on 29 December.

But Celtic say discussions are still ongoing and want to release Rogic after the match.

All four players are free to play on 26 December, with Celtic travelling to Aberdeen and Hibs away to Rangers. Three days later, there are Glasgow and Edinburgh derbies at Ibrox and Easter Road.

As Hibs have three players in the Australia squad, they are entitled to ask for the postponement, but they have decided against doing so.

"This is two days over the Fifa regulation and has been communicated with all clubs," said an FFA spokesman.

"It ensures some players get an extra game in for their clubs and enjoy Christmas with their families and friends at home."

The players will be expected to travel to Dubai to join the Australia squad heading for the United Arab Emirates, with the Socceroos beginning their campaign against Jordan on 6 January.

The Premiership enters its winter break following the derby fixtures until 23 January, but the clubs have Scottish Cup fourth-round tie four days earlier and also have league games scheduled before the Asia Cup final on 1 February.

After their opening fixture, Australia face further group matches against Palestine on 11 January and Syria on the 16 January.

Hibs' Martin Boyle and Jamie Maclaren celebrate
Martin Boyle and Jamie Maclaren have been selected by Australia head coach Graham Arnold

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