Norwich and Swansea will have to look elsewhere for a striker with Leigh Griffiths set to sign new Celtic deal, Dundee United’s John Souttar could sign a pre-contract with the Parkhead club in January, and Falkirk boss Peter Houston insists league reconstruction will be pushed through if Falkirk win the Ladbrokes Championship title.
Norwich give up hope of landing Leigh Griffiths
NORWICH City are set to concede defeat in their bid to land Celtic’s Leigh Griffiths after it emerged the striker is set to pen a new bumper deal at Parkhead.
Manager Alex Neil is looking to bolster his squad for the second half of the English Premier League season as the Canaries battle to stay in the top flight.
A swap deal with old Celtic favourite Gary Hooper was previously mooted, but it now appears Neil will have to turn his attentions elsewhere.
The same goes for Swansea City, who’s previous manager Gary Monk was also a fan of the 25-year-old. (Various)
Celtic set to sign Dundee United’s John Souttar
CELTIC are poised to offer a contract to Dundee United youngster John Souttar, who will be available to move from Tannadice when his current deal expires next summer.
United have twice tried to tie the 19-year-old, who can operate in both defence and midfield, to a new deal.
However, negotiations have broken down on both occasions and it means Celtic will be able to offer a pre-contract this January.
A development fee will have to be paid to United by means of compensation, but that shouldn’t put off the Scottish champions who have long been an admirer of the player. (Evening Telegraph)
‘There will be reconstruction’ if Falkirk win title
PETER Houston is convinced league reconstruction will be pushed through this summer if his Falkirk pull off a shock and pip Rangers and Hibs to the Championship title.
And Falkirk manager Houston believes that if they could beat both of their rivals to the one automatic promotion slot, the revamp Bairns chairman Doug Henderson has called for will be firmly on the agenda.
Houston said: “Do you think if Rangers and Hibs don’t go up this season there might be league reconstruction? Or if Falkirk went up as champions? I know what I think would happen. There would be league reconstruction. Scottish football is in a scenario now where we need big clubs back in the top league.” (The Scotsman)
Little chance of Gary Mackay-Steven return to Tannadice
DUNDEE United have distanced themselves from rumours that former winger Gary Mackay-Steven is set to return in January to help the club’s relegation bid.
The player moved to Celtic last season in the double swoop that also saw Stuart Armstrong move to Glasgow. After enjoying a strong start to life at Celtic Park, Mackay-Steven has been badly out of sorts this season, falling down the pecking order as a result.
However, while it’s likely United would welcome the player back given the club’s current plight, they insist no contact has been made. (Evening Telegraph)
Hibernian won’t offer deal to Derek Riordan
ALAN Stubbs dismissed the possibility that Hibernian would offer a deal to former fans favourite Derek Riordan.
The striker has been working with the club for several weeks now, helping to train the attackers while also keeping his fitness as he seeks to secure a move back to full-time football.
However, it seems that destination will not be Easter Road after Stubbs responded to a question posed by a fan at the club’s AGM regarding a potential return.
Stubbs said: “I’ll be honest and say no, there won’t be anything happening with Deeks.” (Evening News)
Aberdeen to offer Ryan McGowan pre-contract
ABERDEEN are set to offer Dundee United full-back a pre-contract in January.
The defender’s deal expires at the end of the season and is unlikely to receive an offer for an extension as one of the highest earners on a struggling side.
Dons’ boss Derek McInnes is on the hunt for a replacement for current first choice right-back Shay Logan who looks set to leave the club next summer. (The Sun)
Russell Latapy among contenders for St Mirren job
FORMER Rangers, Hibs and Falkirk midfielder Russell Latapy is among the front-runners to suceed his old team-mate Ian Murray as manager of St Mirren.
Latapy was a member of John Hughes’ staff at Inverness CT and now feels ready to take on the challenge of full management.
He was rumoured to be among the contenders for the Alloa Athletic position but lost out to former Hearts coach Jack Ross. (Various)
Liam Henderson wants to see out season at Easter Road
CELTIC loanee Liam Henderson wants to remain at Easter Road for the duration of the 2015/16 season and defeat his parent club’s main rivals in the battle for the Ladbrokes Championship crown.
The midfielder has been in impressive form since joining Hibernian as part of the deal that saw Scott Allan move to Celtic Park.
He’s been a regular in the side under Alan Stubbs and insists he wants to keep getting regular first-team football while helping the Edinburgh club get back to the top flight.
Hibs are currently three points behind Rangers in the table. (Daily Record)
Jack Ross ‘bruised’ by exit from Hearts
JACK Ross, the new manager of Alloa Athletic, has made a career out of bouncing back. Released by Dundee at the start of his career, he vented his frustration in a positive way at junior level and soon made it back to the senior game.
But he admits to being left slightly shaken by the manner and suddenness of his exit from Hearts in mid-October. “Bruised” is the word he used to describe how he felt when he departed Tynecastle after little over a year as under-20s coach, a role he combined with first-team responsibilities as one of head coach Robbie Neilson’s assistants. (The Scotsman)
Ronny Deila confident James Forrest to sign deal
CELTIC manager Ronny Deila is confident winger James Forrest will sign a contract extension with the club.
The 24-year-old’s current deal expires at the end of the season and his club are keen to get him tied up after some impressive form this campaign.
“Peter Lawwell is on top of these things all the time and he knows what is going on,” said Deila. (Evening News)
Kenny Miller: Rangers not yet proven their mettle
RANGERS striker Kenny Miller has conceded that the Ibrox side could be vulnerable to Hibernian’s push in the Championship because they have yet to prove their mettle in a title chase.
Earlier this week, the club’s captain Lee Wallace was bullish about the fact that the league leaders would see off their rivals because they have “the best side, the best manager, and the best training ground”.
However, Miller admitted Mark Warburton’s team were largely untried in these situations. (The Scotsman)
Anthony Stokes returns to Celtic after ban
STRIKER Anthony Stokes will return to Celtic training today in a bid to save his career at Parkhead.
The Irishman was suspended for two weeks after letting his frustration get the better of him before an away clash at Inverness. Stokes had been told he wouldn’t be involved in the game and took to Twitter to vent his anger.
When announcing the suspension the club insisted Stokes still had a future if he was willing to clean up his act. (Daily Record)