Rumour Mill: Celtic in talks over £8m-rated Popescu | Hearts ‘competed without goalposts’ | McClean to Celtic?

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Celtic have spoken to Steaua Bucharest amid interest in £8m-rated Ovidiu Popescu, James McClean has fuelled speculation of a summer move to Celtic after posting a photo on Instagram of him in a Hoops shirt, and Ian Cathro believes Hearts competed with Celtic without goalposts.

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Ovidiu Popescu in action for Steaua Bucharest during their Champions League qualifier with Manchester City. Picture: Getty

Ovidiu Popescu in action for Steaua Bucharest during their Champions League qualifier with Manchester City. Picture: Getty

Celtic in Popescu talks

Celtic have been in talks with Steaua Bucharest over the transfer of midfielder Ovidiu Popescu, according to Gigi Becali. The Romanian club’s controversial owner says he expects the player to go for a fee of around £8million, having received a similar sum for Nicolae Stanciu from Anderlecht. Celtic are on the look for a central midfielder to boost competition for places at the position. Becali believes Popescu will one day be worth £25m. (Daily Record)

• Although, sources at the Scottish Sun say Brendan Rodgers is not interested in signing the 23-year-old at this moment in time. (Scottish Sun)

McClean to Celtic?

West Brom midfielder James McClean has fuelled speculation he could make a summer move to his boyhood club Celtic after posting a photo of himself on Instagram wearing a Hoops top. The 27-year-old was celebrating Celtic winning the Ladbrokes Premiership title, writing “here we go six in a row” alongside the snap. (Press and Journal)

Rangers can catch Aberdeen

Rangers boss Pedro Caixinha believes his side can still overtake Aberdeen in the league standings. The Portuguese coach says it would be “impossible” to cut the 10-point gap (which rose to 13 with Aberdeen’s win against ICT last night) if they were only playing each other once, but with two fixtures between the sides still to come he feels there is a lot to play for. (Evening Times)

- Derek McInnes says his side are ready for Rangers after winning their tenth home game in a row with last night’s 1-0 win over Inverness Caley Thistle. (Daily Record)

Tierney on life without football

Kieran Tierney thinks he would have been a bricklayer if he hadn’t made the breakthrough in football. The Celtic star keeps himself grounded by continuing to spend most days in the company of his childhood friends, most of whom are doing apprenticeships. Tierney thinks he would have followed their lead if he wasn’t one of the most exciting young prospects in British football. (Daily Record)

Hearts equal to Celtic without goalposts

Hearts boss Ian Cathro has made the curious claim that if you “take away the goalposts” then his side were able to compete against Celtic. Cathro watched his side start the match brightly before being ultimately humiliated by the Ladbrokes Premiership leaders, who clinched the title with a resounding 5-0 victory. (Daily Record)

Miller to wait on future decision

Rangers manager Pedro Caixinha has insisted he will not be dictated to over the future of Kenny Miller. The veteran striker, not named by the Portuguese coach in his team to face Kilmarnock tonight, said this week that he feared he was not going to be offering the contract extension he craved. Miller based his concern on not having had any discussions with the new manager about prolonging his third stint with the Ibrox club beyond the expiry of his current deal in three months. (The Scotsman)

Boyd wonders about Caixinha assistant search

Former Rangers striker Kris Boyd is skeptical over Pedro Caixinha’s search for a “local” coach to become the No.3 assistant at Ibrox. The Killie hitman doesn’t understand why it’s taken “four or five weeks” and still there’s nobody appointed. He wonders whether this is a decision forced upon Caixinha by the Rangers board. (The National)

Swansea want Morton duo

Swansea City are looking to add to the lengthy list of young Scottish stars already at the club by signing Morton duo Lewis Strapp and Scott Tiffoney. The two teenagers, who’ve both featured for the Ladbrokes Championship club this season, have been invited for a training spell at the Liberty Stadium. (Daily Record)

Rogic one of the best in Europe

Tom Rogic can become one of the best midfielders operating in Europe according to Brendan Rodgers. The Celtic manager named Rogic in his squad for tonight’s Premiership clash with Partick Thistle while also issuing a reminder of the 24 year-old’s capabilities. Rogic hasn’t played since a 2-1 win over Dundee in December and has since undergone an operation on a troublesome ankle injury. (The Scotsman)

Rangers must challenge for title

Crocked Rangers midfielder Niko Kranjcar insists the Ibrox club must compete with rivals Celtic for the Ladbrokes Premiership title next season. The Croatian believes it’s unacceptable for a club of Rangers’ size to be 35 points from the league summit. (The Herald)