In today’s Scotsman rumour mill: Victor Wanyama is a wanted man; Walter Smith and the Rangers boardroom; John Brown’s Dundee takeover disappointment; Fraser Forster a target for Sunderland; Barry Robson and Willo Flood in talks with Aberdeen.
Wanyama wanted by Inter and Arsenal
Arsenal are leading the race to sign the Celtic’s Victor Wanayama. Wanayama is wanted by Inter Milan along with a host of English Premier League clubs.
Former Arsenal man Perry Groves, last night urged the Gunners to snap up the Kenyan midfielder.
Groves said: “I really like Wanyama - he is destined for big things. He may be young but he plays for a massive club, has lots of experience for a young player, and he fits the Wenger model.”
With Inter Milan boss Walter Mazzari and Tottenham coach Andre Villas-Boas also said to be admirers of Wanyama, a bidding war for his services could kick in to gear over the summer.
Groves added: “He (Wanyama) would offer real protection for the back four, and a real thrust and drive going forward.”
Wanyama turned down a contract offer from Celtic in October, leading Neil Lennon to slap a £25 million price tag on him. (Express)
Walter Smith to stop the boardroom war
Smith said: “Although I have been on the board for some months this will be another departure for me but there are enough directors around to make sure we will make the kind of progress necessary and which our fans want.
“Unity among the directors is vital. We must all be on the same page as often as possible. We won’t always agree but Rangers, this club and our fans must always come first. (Various)
Walter Smith swung it for Cammy Bell
Cammy Bell says Walter Smith was the reason he joined Rangers from Kilmarnock.
Goalkeeper Cammy Bell finally completed his move to Third Division champions Rangers last week, he said: “The right people are at Rangers, great people like Walter Smith - if he’s at Ibrox there’s no danger I could say I shouldn’t be.”
Bell rejected claims that dropping two divisions suggests a lack of ambition, he said: “It’s a long-term plan for me. I want to play in the SPL with Rangers. I want to be back in Europe with Rangers, where they belong.” (Sun)
Bomber backs Dundee takeover
Dundee boss John Brown has urged his club to accept the proposed takeover bid from US investors.
Dundee are split over the takeover offer, with three board members resigning earlier in the week.
Brown said: “We’re trying to put together a squad fit to win the First Division next season and that means players meed to know what’s happening.
“That’s why I’m disappointed with what’s happened in the past couple of days.
“But hopefully the three remaining guys on the board can have a look at it and see the sense in the proposal.
“I feel the investment is the right way forward for this club in the long run.” (Express)
Garry Harkins threatens to quite Dees
Harkins was left seething after the Texas takeover deal collapsed, and is now uncertain over his future at Dens Park, saying he he’d prefer stability at the club.
Harkins said: “From everything I’ve heard about the proposed takeover, it would have been great for Dundee and helped to take the place forward.” (Various)
Goodwillie attracting attention from SPL clubs
Aberdeen, Hearts and Dundee United are tracking Blackburn Rovers striker David Goodwillie with a view to signing him it has bee reported.
Goodwillie left Tannadice two years ago, but has struggled to find a regular place at the Lancashire club, spending part of last season on loan at Crystal Palace.
PFA Scotland lawyer Liam O’Donnell said: “There’s been interest from some SPL sides in bringing David in on loan, but they have all been directed to speak to Blackburn Rovers.” (Sun)
Robson and Flood on Aberdeen’s wanted list
Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes has reportedly identified midfielders Barry Robson and Willo Flood as potential targets.
The pair, previously team-mates at United, Celtic and Middlesbrough, are said to be in talks with Aberdeen with a view to being reunited in midfield for the Dons.
Robson is currently at Sheffield United having signed a short-term contract in January. Flood has been with Dundee United for the past two seasons. (Various)
Hull target Gary Hooper
Newly promoted Hull City are the latest Premier League club to be linked with Gary Hooper, prompting a scornful response from Bertie Auld, who believes the 25-year-old would be placing money before ambition if he joined the Humberside outfit.
“Hull is beautiful – if you’re a fisherman,” said Auld. “He will need an umbrella and a sou’wester if he goes down there. (Scotsman)
McGeady “happy” in Russia
Aiden McGeady has admitted that Spartak Moscow may look to cash in on him this summer as he enters the final year of his contract in Russia.
McGeady has been repeatedly linked with a move back from eastern Europe since sealing his £9.5 million switch from Celtic in August 2010, with several Barclays Premier League clubs having been credited with an interest in him. The Glasgow-born midfielder insists he is happy in Moscow, he said: “I have only got a year left on my contract, so it’s bound to happen. Maybe Spartak want to cash in on me now because, if they don’t, there’s a possibility I could leave for nothing. But I am happy there just now.” (Scotsman)
Strachan’s injury hit Scots send SOS to Stevie Hammell
Motherwell left-back Stevie Hammell was last night celebrating a shock call-up to the Scotland squad.
Gordon Strachan’s Scotland squad has been hit by numerous injury problems in recent days, so the Scotland gaffer has turned to the 31-year-old left-back for the World Cup clash in Croatia.
Hammell said: “People will say there have been a lot of call-offs but that does not matter in the slightest to me because it’s a fantastic honour to go and represent your country.” (Sun)
Fraser Forster on Di Canio’s wanted list
Sunderland have made Celtic goalkeeper Fraser Forster a target to replace Simon Mignolet should the Belgian international depart this summer.
Black Cats Paolo di Canio is understood to be an admirer of Celtic’s English keeper. Celtic’s £2m signing from Newcastle would perhaps be better placed to press for an England call up if he were to secure a move south of the border. (Daily Mail)