Rumour Mill: Celtic eye Belgian ace | Old Firm clash ‘bigger than El Clasico’ | Hibs falter in race for second

Obbi Oulare (right) shields the ball from Newcastle's Chancel Mbemba during an FA Cup clash. Picture: Getty Images
Obbi Oulare (right) shields the ball from Newcastle's Chancel Mbemba during an FA Cup clash. Picture: Getty Images
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Celtic linked with Belgian forward; Henrik Larsson reckons the Old Firm game is unrivalled in football and Hibs blow two-goal lead in race for second

Hoops linked with Oulare

CELTIC have been linked with a summer move for Watford striker Obbi Oulare.

The big Belgian forward joined the Hornets in a £6 million move from Club Brugge but Oulare has struggled for game time at Vicarage Road thanks to the form of Troy Deeney and Odion Ighalo.

The Hoops have largely had to rely on Leigh Griffiths this season, with Nadir Ciftci and Stefan Scepovic out on loan, Anthony Stokes out of favour and on loan at Hibs, and Carlton Cole and Colin Kazim-Richards having netted just one goal apiece. (Various)

Old Firm ‘bigger than El Clasico’ - Larsson

CELTIC legend Henrik Larsson has claimed that nothing can match the Old Firm game for intensity.

The Swede, who scored 15 goals in Old Firm clashes, experienced El Clasico during his spell at Barcelona, but still reckons the Glasgow derby beats the rest.

The ex-Celtic striker said: “It is the best atmosphere and the most fierce encounter I ever played in. It is the most exciting match to play in but it is also a game where you need to handle your emotions.

“I have never experienced anything like these games. (Daily Record)

Hibs chuck two-goal lead in race for second

HIBERNIAN’s chances of sealing second took a major blow last night as the Easter Road side blew a two-goal lead against Falkirk.

A Jason Cummings double looked to have Hibs in control against ten men, after Aaron Muirhead copped a second yellow card, but late goals from David McCracken and Bob McHugh earned Peter Houston’s men a point.

The Bairns remain six points ahead of Hibs, having played two more games, and Hibs head coach Alan Stubbs has called on his side - who have taken just five points from the last 24 - to win their four remaining matches in order to nab second place. (The Scotsman)

Bartley eyes Jamaica call-up

HIBS midfielder Marvin Bartley is eyeing an international call-up for Jamaica, after revealing he has held a Jamaican passport since 2012.

Bartley, who has had spells at Bournemouth, Burnley and Leyton Orient, is hopeful that his performances for Hibs will have caught the eye.

He said: “It has long been an ambition of mine to play for [Jamaica], ever since I started my career as a footballer.

“I’ve had conversations since then, but due to me not feeling I was in the best form possible, or being injured, I’ve yet to represent Jamaica. But this is something I hope will change in the not-too-distant future.” (CCP)

Hearts secure European football

BARELY a year after securing promotion from the Championship, Hearts have secured European football for next year after a goalless draw with Inverness Caledonian Thistle.

The Highland stalemate may have been a damp squib but the point ensured Robbie Neilson’s men will enter the Europa League qualifying rounds just two years after being relegated from the top flight.

Neilson said: “Europe is great for the club. The top-six was the aim this year but to be able to secure European football before the split is great for us.” (Evening News)

Riordan can ‘re-ignite career’ insists York boss

DEREK Riordan can re-ignite his career ‘if he really wants it’ according to York City boss Jackie McNamara.

The ex-Dundee United boss took the former Hibs forward to Bootham Crescent on a short-term deal but Riordan has failed to set the heather alight since arriving at the League Two side.

McNamara said: “It’s not about ability with Derek, it has never been about ability. There’s more there. Sometimes I wish I was in his shoes at his age with something there to give.

“He’s 33, he’s still young, he still has another good three or four years in him, if he wants it.” (The Scotsman)

NEWS IN BRIEF

• Dundee United could be relegated at the home of city rivals Dundee. The Tangerines are due to play at Dens Park on the final day of the season and could be relegated by the Dark Blues

• Henri Anier is focused on the Scottish Cup semi-final - despite having the inside track on Hibs having spent time on loan at Easter Road. The Estonian forward says he is ‘only thinking about helping Dundee United’

• Rangers look set to beat Manchester United to the signature of youngster Matthew Knox, in a deal costing the Ibrox side around £100,000. Knox had trials at Man United, Liverpool, Everton, Spurs and Nottingham Forest