Celtic crash out of Europa league as Deila’s winless run extends to ten matches; Warburton denies talk of crisis at Rangers and Hoops told Marko Leskovic will cost them £4m
Hoops crash out of Europe
CELTIC crashed out of Europe last night after a late goal from Ajax and results elsewhere in the group scuppered the Hoops’ slim hopes of progressing.
Callum McGregor, making a rare start, got Celtic off to a dream start when he curled a shot beyond Jasper Cillesen. But Polish hitman Arkadiusz Milik levelled on 22 minutes, before a Scott Allan error handed Ajax their own lifeline as Vaclav Cerny beat Craig Gordon at his near post with time running out. (Various)
Mulgrew sets record straight on pitch exit
CHARLIE Mulgrew has angrily reacted to claims he walked off in a ‘huff’ after Ajax scored their second.
The utility man took to Instagram to claim that he had suffered another injury, and that was why he left the pitch.
He posted: “For all those who think I walked off the park in a huff can’t be serious?? I’ve reinjured my quad. I’m devasted after being out so long and working hard to get back.” (Various)
Hoops told Leskovic will cost £4m
CELTIC have been told they will have to cough up £4m for HNJ Rijeka defender Marko Leskovic.
Celtic were preparing a bid of around £1.5 million for the Croatian international, only to be told they will need nearly four times that amount to have any hope of landing the 23-year-old.
Rijeka are not desperate for cash, and will point ot Celtic’s £4m fee for Jozo Simunovic as a starting point. (The Sun)
Ashley in new court threat to Rangers
MIKE Ashley has warned Rangers he will take the club to court if votes are passed at today’s AGM to convert board members’ loans into shares and issue new shares.
This would effectively ‘dilute’ the Sports Direct chief’s holding at Ibrox. (The National)
Crisis? What crisis, asks Warburton
MARK Warburton has revealed he is looking to bring in two players in January as he questioned talk of the club being in a ‘crisis’.
Warburton told the club’s YouTube channel: “I’m amazed that the word crisis is used when [Rangers have] played 14, won 12, drawn two and lost a game of football.
“The team are in good shape, the squad is more than strong enough. But when you enter February and March, and you have heavy pitches, injuries and suspensions, we have to make sure we have options. So we need one or two more players definitely. There’s no doubt about that.” (Various)
Stubbs hopeful of pair making Morton clash
ALAN Stubbs is hopeful that sidelined pair Paul Hanlon and Liam Henderson will be fit for the trip to Morton on Saturday week.
Hanlon has been out with a troublesome hamstring while Henderson sat out the trip to Alloa with a mystery virus.
Hanlon is expected to report for training on Monday but Henderson’s viral infection could rule him out for a second successive match. (Evening News)
Ozturk set for U20s return
HEARTS skipper Alim Ozturk could take part in his first game in eight weeks after recovering from hernia surgery.
Tynecastle coaching staff are hopeful that Ozturk will take part in Hearts’ U20 clash with Dundee on Monday, with a return to first-team action tentatively planned for next month. (Evening News)
UEFA ban de Boer pitchside interview
A DUTCH journalist claimed earlier this week that UEFA banned Ajax boss Frank de Boer from being interviewed pitchside ahead of the Europa League clash with Celtic - because of his Rangers past.
Marcel Maijer, a reporter with RTL7, tweeted that European football’s governing body had ‘deemed it too high a risk’ to allow de Boer to be interviewed pitchside at because of his time at rivals Rangers.
Maijer was expected to inteview de Boer ‘behind closed doors’. (The Scotsman)
NEWS IN BRIEF
• Dundee are in talks with a Dutch investment group in a bid to revamp their youth set-up
• Lionel Messi is reportedly open to a move to Manchester City that would see him pick up £800,000 a week
• Northumberland non-league club Stocksfield FC have cashed in on former goalkeeper Fraser Forster, netting £100,000 from the player’s transfer from Celtic to Southampton
• Lee McCulloch has admitted his time as a player is coming to an end. The Kilmarnock coach, now 37, has been playing since he was 18
• Ronny Deila reckons he needs to bring in two new players for Celtic to successfully compete in Europe
• There were four arrests linked to the Celtic-Ajax clash last night; two during the match and one each before and after the game
• Dundee United boss Mixu Paatelainen has played down talk linking the club with Alexei Eremenko