Celtic take Romanian defender Andrei Peteleu on trial and linked with Croatian star; new deals for three Rangers players and Riski signing for Dundee United
Peteleu on trial at Celtic
CELTIC have taken Romanian defender Andrei Peteleu on trial.
The 23-year-old, who is currently with Petrolul Ploiesti along with ex-Hibs winger Abdellah Zoubir, arrived at Lennoxtown on Friday.
Peteleu joined Petrolul in 2014, having previously been at Gloria Bistrita, Delta Tulcea, Targu Mures and Sageata Navodari. (STV Sport)
Rangers to offer new deals to Holt, McKay and Halliday
RANGERS are set to offer new contracts to Andy Halliday, Barrie McKay and Jason Holt.
Ibrox boss Mark Warburton reckons that negotiations are ‘almost finalised’, and said at a press conference: “They have fully deserved new contracts and they now need to work towards securing their next contract with us.” (Rangers FC)
Ruki Riski close to agreeing Dundee United deal
MIXU Paatelainen is close to agreeing a deal for compatriot Ruki Riski as he seeks to bolster his Dundee United squad this window.
The 24-year-old, capped once for Finland under Mixu, has had a fairly nomadic career, turning out for TPS Turku, FC Viikingit, Abo, Cesena, Honefoss BK, Haugesund and SJK Seinajoki.
But a deal could be concluded this weekened for the striker to join United. (Evening Telegraph)
Brentford knock back Rangers bid for Diagouraga
RANGERS have had a £100,000 bid for Brentford midfielder Toumani Diagouraga thrown out by the London club.
The 28-year-old has been linked with Rangers since last July but the Bees have dismissed a concrete offer from the Ibrox club for the Frenchman.
The Gers could land their man for around £500,000 however. (The Sun)
Celtic eye Crepulja swoop
CELTIC could dip into the Croatian transfer market once again after being linked with Slaven Belupo midfielder Ljuban Crepulja.
The 22-year-old has made over 70 appearances for the Prva HNL outfit, scoring twice. He came up through the ranks at Lokomotiva Zagreb and Dinamo Zagreb - ex-club of Hoops stopper Jozo Simunovic - but kick-started his career at Segesta before a season with Hrvatski Dragovoljac.
And Celtic, who spotted Crepulja while running the rule over Ivan Mocinic, could land the former Croatia Under-20 star for around £300,000. (Daily Record)
Hoops take St Pat’s youngster on trial
CELTIC are to run the rule over St Patrick’s Athletic midfielder Darragh Markey this weekend. The 18-year-old has been invited to play in a bounce game, and St Pat’s have given Markey the green light to attend.
Markey, who broke into the Dublin side last season, has also caught the eye of a nuymber of English Premier League clubs. (The Herald)
Deila chat convinced Niklas to join Hibs
HIBS news boy Niklas Gunnarsson already had his heart set on a move to Easter Road as soon as the Leith club stepped up their interest in signing him on loan this month.
However, any lingering apprehension that the 24-year-old still harboured about the move was soon soothed during a chat with Ronny Deila.
Gunarsson revealed: “I talked to Ronny about Hibs and he said very good things about the club, he said they are a big club and should be in the Premiership.” (The Scotsman)
Talks held over sectarian songs at Ibrox
THE SPFL board is to meet to discuss sectarian singing by Rangers fans during the 4-2 win over Hibs at Ibrox - but it’s unlikely any action will be taken.
Under current SPFL rules, clubs will avoid punishment if the board is satisfied all reasonable and practicable steps were taken to try and ensure acceptable conduct among supporters.
The ‘Billy Boys’ was heard from some sections of the home support while Hibs boss Alan Stubbs was the target of other sectarian chanting. (The Scotsman)
Celtic ‘second best UK club in world rankings’
CELTIC finished 2015 ranked as the second highest British club in the world rankings, according to new stats from the International Federation of Football History and Statistics (IFFHS).
The IFFHS ranks clubs based on the sum of weighted points in all competitions in a calendar year, and the Hoops came second to Arsenal in Britain and were ranked 24th overall, ahead of the likes of Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea.
Celtic’s position was down to winning the SPL title and League Cup last season, but a better performance in Europe could have ranked the Hoops even higher. (IFFHS)
Cammy Bell ‘available for loan’
RANGERS could allow goalkeeper Cammy Bell to go out on loan as he seeks a return to action.
The former Kilmarnock ‘keeper has been struggling with an injury but is back to full fitness.
However, Wes Foderingham has installed himself as first-choice goalie with Maciej Gostomski and Liam Kelly as back-up. (Various)
SFA ‘could trial video technology’ in 2016/16 Cup
Trials of video assistance for referees may take place in next season’s Scottish Cup after football’s law-making body strongly recommended that experiments take place.
The SFA will hold talks on offering the Scottish Cup for trials next season and the English FA, which has been a big supporter of video technology, is expected to do the same with the FA Cup.
A final decision will be taken in March. (The Scotsman)
Andy Halliday red downgraded
ANDY Halliday’s sending-off against Hibernian has been downgraded to a yellow card on appeal.
The Rangers midfielder was shown the red card after a clash with Hibs midfielder Fraser Fyvie, who made the most of the incident.
Fyvie was banned for two matches for ‘feigning injury’. (The Scotsman)
Scott Gallacher set to leave Hearts
GOALKEEPER Scott Gallacher is set to follow Kenny Anderson out of Tynecastle after falling down the pecking order at Hearts.
The ‘keeper has made just three appearances for Hearts since joining from Rangers in 2014, and is third-choice behind Neil Alexander and Jack Hamilton.
He spent a period of time on loan at Forfar in the first half of this season and although his contract isn’t up until the end of this campaign, the 26-year-old could leave this month. (The Sun)
Sam Stanton close to Livi loan
HIBS midfielder Sam Stanton is close to sealing a loan move to Livingston until the end of the season.
Stanton, who scored in Hibernian’s 6-2 Petrofac Cup defeat at the hands of Rangers last summer, was also a target for Falkirk and Kilmarnock. (The Sun)
Strachan ‘will rotate squads’ for March friendlies
GORDON Strachan is expected to use a number of different players for the upcoming friendly matches away to the Czech Republic and at home to Denmark.
The matches will be Scotland’s first action since the failed Euro 2016 qualifying campaign and Strachan is reportedly keen on setting up further games for May and June. (The Scotsman)
Duffy extends Alloa loan
MICHAEL Duffy has extended his loan deal at Alloa until the end of the season.
The Celtic midfielder, signed from Derry City, has been with the Wasps since the beginning of this campaign. (Various)
Cricket legend slams Rangers
DAVID ‘Bumble’ Lloyd, the former England cricketer and celebrity Accrington Stanley fan, has taken to Twitter to criticise Rangers over their pursuit of Matt Crooks and Josh Windass.
The cricket commentator sarcastically tweeted: “Glasgow Rangers…must have wonderful owners…great business ethics…Sound a real classy club.”
Lloyd also slated Rangers for their dealings with the ‘smallest club in the league’. (Various)
NEWS IN BRIEF
• Ryan McLaughlin and Josh Parker will leave Aberdeen and return to respective parent clubs Liverpool and Red Star Belgrade this weekend
• Celtic have opened talks with Australian midfielder Tom Rogic with a view to extending his contract at Parkhead
• Dundee United new boy Eiji Kawashima is hoping to be a big hit in Scotland like his compatriot Shunsuke Nakamura