Celtic linked with wantaway Swansea striker Michu and Man City starlet Brandon Barker but have Simunovic bid thrown out; Rangers linked with Arsenal wonderkid as Fergie says Gers are a ‘long way off’ from challenging Celtic
Celtic eye Swansea striker Michu
CELTIC have been linked with a move for wantaway Swansea striker Michu.
The 29-year-old striker, who has scored 28 goals in 67 games for the Swans, spent last season on loan at Napoli, making just five goalless appearances.
And despite interest from Real Betis, Celtic appear to have joined the race for the ex-Oviedo and Celta Vigo forward. (Various)
Celtic bid for Simunovic rejected
DINAMO Zagreb have rejected Celtic’s £4 million offer for highly-rated defender Jozo Simunovic after club president Zdravko Mamic met with Hoops chief executive, Peter Lawwell.
Simunovic, 21, had been targeted as a possible replacement if Virgil van Dijk leaves Celtic. (Daily Record)
Man City starlet Barker linked with Hoops loan
MANCHESTER City starlet Brandon Barker is believed to be a target for Celtic as they look for wide options this season.
England Under-19 winger Barker, who has been a stand-out for City’s Elite Development Squad over the last year, is thought to have a number of loan offers on the table after a move to Leeds broke down after the Elland Road side demanded a option-to-buy clause.
A pal of Hoops stopper Dedryck Boyata, Barker recently signed a new five-year deal at the Etihad and Celtic is seen as a potential destination for him to continue his development. (Various)
Hoops scouting No 2 says van Dijk ‘likely to be sold’
DAVID Moss, Celtic’s assistant chief scout, has said that Virgil van Dijk is likely to be sold during this transfer window - provided a club comes up with the £12 million required to buy the Dutchman. (The Herald)
Zelalem linked with Rangers loan
RANGERS are close to agreeing a loan deal for Arsenal midfielder Gedion Zelalem. It is expected the player will sign initially until January but with the option to stay for the season.
Zelalem is highly rated by his club manager, Arsene Wenger, and made his first-team debut for Arsenal as a 16-year-old in the FA Cup against Coventry City in January 2014.
However, it is understood that he has offer from clubs in England including Fulham, Charlton, and Birmingham. (Scotsman)
Mohsni ‘won’t be charged’ over Fir Park fracas
BILEL Mohsni and Lee Erwin won’t be charged for their part in an on-field brawl at the end of last season’s Scottish Premiership play-off final.
Cops quizzed the Tunisian stopper and ‘Well striker after the scenes unfolded.
But the Crown Office has confirmed neither player will be charged in relation to the scrap. (The Sun)
Deila keeps faith with Ciftci
RONNY DEILA is ready to keep faith with Nadir Ciftci as his first-choice striker for the final stage of Celtic’s quest to reach the Champions League group stage.
Ciftci has started all four of their Champions League qualifying games - but is yet to find the net - and looks set to get the nod ahead of Leigh Griffiths again for the first leg of the play-off round tie against Malmö at Celtic Park tonight. (Scotsman)
McNamara vows to fight on at Tannadice
Dundee United manager Jackie McNamara has vowed not to be broken by “poisonous” rumours which claim to cast doubt over his future at Tannadice.
McNamara spoke out yesterday as speculation on social media claimed he was on the verge of walking away in the wake of last Saturday’s 4-0 defeat by Hamilton. (Scotsman)
Hearts eye move for Spiders starlet
HEARTS are weighing up a move for Queens Park youngster Shaun Rooney.
The 18-year-old has been on trial with the Jambos and has reportedly impressed. He ran the show for the Hearts Under-20s in Tuesday night’s match against Kilmarnock.
And now Hearts look set to offer Rooney the same route to the top flight as taken by Aidan Connolly, Blair Spittal, Lawrence Shankland and Andy Robertson - who all started out at Queens Park. (The Sun)
Rangers ‘long way off’ from challenging Celtic, says Fergie
SIR Alex Ferguson reckons Rangers are a long way off from challenging Celtic - and has told his former club to forget taking the title from Celtic with their current squad.
Sir Alex, who scored 25 goals in 41 games for the Gers between 1967 and 1969, believes that - despite Mark Warburton’s positive influence on the side - Rangers shouldn’t delude themselves about the level at which progress is being made.
Fergie told the Daily Mail: “Obviously, whatever they can achieve at the moment can only get them into the Premiership. Being in the Premiership will be an entirely different matter altogether.” (Daily Mail)
NEWS IN BRIEF
• Portadown forward Darren Murray is currently on trial at Inverness Caledonian Thistle - but is expected to make the Ports squad for the weekend clash with Ballinamard United
• Tom Rogic, Jackson Irvine and Ryan McGowan are likely to be named in the Australia squad to face Tajikistan and Bangladesh in the latest round of World Cup qualifiers
• Liam Henderson has revealed his loan switch to Hibs has left his Hibernian-mad grandad ‘over the moon’
• St Johnstone are hopeful that midfielder David Wotherspoon will be fit to face Motherwell this weekend
• Dundee boss Paul Hartley is backing goalkeeper Scott Bain to earn a Scotland call-up for the forthcoming Euro qualifiers