Carlton Cole edges closer to making Celtic debut, Mixu Paatelainen in bid to tempt Alexei Eremenko to Tannadice and Efe Ambrose pockets £13k for Nigeria goal
Cole closer to Hoops bow
CARLTON Cole could make his Celtic debut against Kilmarnock this weekend following a fitness fight.
The ex-West Ham striker signed for Celtic as a free agent to bolster Ronny Deila’s attacking options and the 32-year-old played an hour of a bounce game against Livingston at Lennoxtown last week.
Cole has already said he is happy to use his wealth of experience to help his Parkhead team-mates and give advice. (Various)
Mixu wants countryman Eremenko
MIXU Paatelainen is attempting to bring countryman Alexei Eremenko to Tannadice as the Finn seeks to stave off the danger of relegation.
Although the 32-year-old, who had two spells with Kilmarnock, is reportedly keen on a return to Helsinki, Paatelainen is thought to be ready to offer Eremenko a third bash at the Scottish Premiership. (Daily Record)
Efe’s in the money
CELTIC defender Efe Ambrose has banked a £13,000 reward for his stunning goal for Nigeria against Swaziland.
The 27-year-old converted a superb volley to secure a 2-0 win over the minnows on Tuesday night and send the Super Eagles into the group stage of African qualifying for the 2018 World Cup.
However, there was an added bonus for Ambrose and fellow goalscorer, Moses Simon, who both collected $20,000 (£13,000). The bonus for each goalscorer was announced by River State Governor Ezenwo Nyesom Wike during a visit to the Nigeria training camp earlier this week – and Ambrose duly delivered on matchday. (The Scotsman)
ICT suspend striker amid U20s red card probe
INVERNESS CT have suspended attacker Dani Lopez until further notice after an alleged incident in a Development League game against St Johnstone.
The striker netted the only goal of the game midway through the first half but was shown a red card for an off the ball incident with an opposing defender, who also saw red.
In a statement the club said: “Following an incident during last night’s under 20s game versus St Johnstone we can confirm that Dani Lopez has been suspended by the club until further notice pending a full investigation.” (The Scotsman)
Hutton ‘best British right back’
Alan Hutton is the best British right back. At least, that’s according to French news outlet L’Equipe, who chose the player as the only Scot in a Great British XI. Hutton takes his place in the hypothetical team alongside stars such as Wayne Rooney, Gareth Bale and Joe Hart.
The Aston Villa defender has come under criticism from the Tartan Army in recent years who’ve viewed the former Rangers man as one of Gordon Strachan’s favourites, someone guaranteed a place in the side regardless of form for club or country. Many have called for his omission from the team, with Norwich’s Steven Whittaker some people’s preferred choice. (The Scotsman)
Celtic urged to pay living wage
CELTIC has the opportunity to “make a commitment” to hundreds of the football club’s staff by becoming an accredited living wage employer, according to a Labour MSP.
James Kelly is calling on the Celtic board to sign up to the living wage which was raised from £7.85 to £8.25 an hour earlier this month.
At its AGM last year, Celtic said it was prepared to enter discussions with its permanent workforce on the issue but not with others including part-time and external workers. (The Scotsman)
Zagreb chief lifted over dodgy transfers
DINAMO Zagreb chief executive Zdravko Mamic has been arrested over nearly £8m-worth of iffy transfers.
Croatian TV revealed Mamic was lifted for an alleged £7.5million worth of losses suffered by the club over dodgy player transfers.
Dinamo Zagreb’s stadium was also raided as part of the probe and four others were arrested. There is no suggestion of iffy deals in Jozo Simunovic’s recent transfer from the club to Celtic. (Daily Record)
News in brief
• Celtic are to send Ryan Christie to a knee specialist as part of his recovery from injury
• Arjen Robben as reportedly agreed a deal to join Manchester United in January
• Jordan McGhee has insisted he is intent on holding onto his place in Hearts’ starting XI
• Celtic skipper Scott Brown is set for a return to action this weekend, boosting Ronny Deila ahead of the Ajax clash