Arnor Ingvi Traustason rejects Celtic for move to Austria; Charlie Gilmour rejects England to play for Scotland and Alan Stubbs coy over Hibs title challenge
Arnor Ingvi Traustason snubs Celtic
CELTIC target Arnor Ingvi Traustason has rejected a move from the Scottish champions as he looks set to move to Rapid Vienna.
The winger currently plays for Norrkoping in Sweden and was rated at £1.5 million.
Aston Villa and Birmingham have also failed with bids to tempt the attacker to the British Isles. (Daily Record)
Arsenal prospect chooses Scotland over England
YOUNG Arsenal midfielder Charlie Gilmour seems to have completed a U-turn by choosing Scotland over England at international level.
The youngster is eligible to play for Scotland through his dad Iain, and featured for Scotland youth teams in the past.
In 2014, England moved for the player and he played a number of games for his home nation. However, he featured in Scotland’s under-17s win over Iceland on Tuesday, and coach Scot Gemmill insists he wants to be considered for future selection. (The Scottish Sun)
Sunderland raid Queen’s Park for two youngsters
ENGLISH Premier League side Sunderland are set to land two players from Scottish League Two side Queen’s Park.
A deal is nearing completion for under-17s player Lee Connolly, while fellow youngster Liam Brown has also caught the eye of the Black Cats.
Brown has played three times for the first team. (Daily Record)
Celtic eye Copenhagen star Delaney
CELTIC have been linked with a move for Copenhagen defensive midfielder Thomas Delaney.
Irish-American Delaney, who plays his international football for Denmark, hinted at a move away from the Danish capital in the summer, and Celtic scouts ran the rule over the 24-year-old during a friendly match at the weekend.
Several English clubs are also thought to have been alerted to his potential availability. (Scottish Sun)
Stubbs coy over title race
ALAN Stubbs hasn’t given up hope of catching Rangers despite Hibs going down 3-0 at home to an impressive Morton side.
Goals from Thomas O’Ware, Denny Johnstone and Ross Forbes saw Jim Duffy and the Cappielow outfit leave Leith with three points, severely denting Hibernian’s title hopes.
And after the match, Stubbs said: “We’ve been eight points behind before and we managed to claw it back, but obviously with less games to go it does make it harder.
“It might [be the result that ends our title hopes]…it might not be.” (Various)
Forrest ‘like Messi’, says Deila
RONNY Deila has likened winger James Forrest to Barcelona star Lionel Messi - but admitted there ‘has to be more intensity in everything he does.”
Once rated at £10 million, Forrest now looks set to exit Parkhead in summer, with Norwich the likely destination.
But Deila added: “When [Forrest] carries the ball he is like Messi. You just feel it is so easy. Everything is good, his balance, everything.
“But it has to be more effective and it has to be more intense defensively and offensively. Then he will reach his full potential.” (The Scotsman)
Plastic fantastic, admits Deila
RONNY Deila has insisted that plastic pitches are the future - and he would have no problem with an artificial surface at Parkhead.
The Celtic boss reckons those criticising synthetic turf - including Rangers counterpart Mark Warburton - are ‘living in the dark ages’.
Deila insisted: “A very good grass pitch is No.1 and then a very good artificial pitch is No. 2. That’s my view of it.
“You can also think, if we had [artificial turf] at Celtic Park, all the teams could play there. Imagine what Celtic Park could be.” (The Scotsman)
Killie boss brings in five on trial
KILMARNOCK boss Lee Clark has brought in no fewer than five players as he seeks to lead the Rugby Park side to safety.
Former Real Madrid star Julien Faubert is currently on trial in Ayrshire and another four are being put through their paces.
Clark said: “This week, because we have had no game, it’s been an opportunity for me to look at four or five players with the contacts I’ve got around Europe and the world.
“Out-of-contract players are the only players we can sign at the moment but I’m obviously looking for the summer now as well in terms of players we can go for.” (Evening Times)
Hampden to get new pitch for League Cup final
HAMPDEN Park is to get a new pitch ahead of the Scottish League Cup final.
The state of the pitch at the national stadium was called into question after it looked in poor condition following Queen’s Park’s game with East Stirlingshire.
But Hampden bosses have confirmed that work on relaying the pitch will start after Queen’s Park’s match against Berwick on March 5. (The Scotsman)
NEWS IN BRIEF
• Hibs look to have won the race to sign highly-rated Raith Rovers defender Sean Mackie. The 17-year-old had been linked with Hearts but looks to have made his decision
• David Weir reckons Rangers have the firepower to deal with Martyn Waghorn’s absence
• An appearance by Rangers legend Paul Gascoigne was marred by sectarian singing and chanting as the former England midfielder took part in a speaking event at a leisure centre in Irvine