Rumour Mill: Ronaldo ‘nearly joined Rangers’ | Forrest to Blackburn? | Rangers set to miss out on Mariappa

Ronaldo was close to a move to Rangers, according to his agent. Picture: Complimentary
Ronaldo was close to a move to Rangers, according to his agent. Picture: Complimentary
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Brazil legend Ronaldo ‘nearly joined Rangers’; James Forrest on Blackburn’s radar and Mark Warburton all but gives up on signing Adrian Mariappa

Agent reveals Ronaldo ‘nearly joined Rangers’

BRAZIL legend Ronaldo was on the verge of a stunning move to Rangers, according to his agent Giovanni Branchini.

Sir David Murray was reportedly set to sign the striker in a £20 million deal from Barcelona - on the basis that Ronaldo would only play in European matches, and not Scottish league games.

Branchini said: “The offer from Rangers was incredible. They told us he didn’t have to play on a Saturday in the Scottish League.

“They were desperate to win the Champions League and were going to allow him to play in the European matches only. But Inter Milan were the first club to meet the release clause so he went there.” (Various)

Forrest out, Duffy in at Celtic?

BLACKBURN are reportedly interested in Celtic winger James Forrest, and are believed to be keen on taking the wideman to Ewood Park, in a move that could see Shane Duffy head in the opposite direction.

The Hoops have been linked with the Irish defender, who is also attracting interest from English Premier League clubs.

But Forrest joining Rovers could persuade Owen Coyle to let Duffy move to Celtic in a separate deal. (Various)

Mariappa deal dead, admits Warburton

RANGERS boss Mark Warburton has all but given up on signing former Crystal Palace defender Adrian Mariappa, admitting: “It’s not live at the moment.”

The 29-year-old met with Ibrox chiefs around four weeks ago, but there has been no movement on a potential deal.

Warburton said: “Adrian Mariappa was one of many we were looking at but it’s not live at the moment. We’ll see how that develops. We’re still looking and will react to opportunities.” (Various)

Rangers ‘are like English League One side’ - Motherwell striker

MOTHERWELL striker Jacob Blyth has compared Rangers to the ‘top teams in League One’ after coming on as a substitute in the Steelmen’s 2-0 Betfred Cup loss to the Ibrox side.

Blyth, formerly with Leicester, said: “I didn’t think it was overly difficult but it was a good test. I’d have to say League One is the highest level I’ve played against the likes of Wigan.

“There were good, fit and athletic teams there and obviously Rangers are there or thereabouts. It was about that level, if not higher.” (Daily Record)

Ajer happy for defensive role

KRISTOFFER Ajer has said he is happy to play at the heart of Celtic’s defence, if that’s his way into the starting XI each week.

The Norwegian youngster had a run-out against German side Wolfsburg at the weekend in central defence, as Celtic won 2-1 against the Bundesliga cracks.

Primarily a midfielder, Ajer was used as a makeshift striker by former club Start towards the end of his time in Norway. (Various)

Ex-Celtic youngster eyes Magpies first team

STUART Findlay has set his sights on promotion to Newcastle’s first team after joining the Magpies following his release from Celtic.

The central defender, who had loan spells at Morton, Dumbarton and Kilmarnock, joined Newcastle earlier this month, joining up with the Under-21 side.

The 20-year-old has been capped 13 times for Scotland Under-21s. (Various)

Van der Velden ‘turned down Killie’ to join United

DUTCH striker Nick van der Velden has claimed he turned down an offer from Kilmarnock to join Dundee United.

The 34-year-old striker, who has had spells with Willem II, AZ Alkmaar and Dordrecht, signed a one-year deal with Ray McKinnon’s side despite interest from Rugby Park. (Daily Record)

NEWS IN BRIEF

• A strong Hibs XI beat Coldstream 8-1 on Saturday, with James Keatings scoring a hat-trick, Oli Shaw grabbing a brace and Jordon Forster, Jamie Insall and Callum Crane all netting

• James Tavernier has echoed Rangers team mate Martyn Waghorn’s desire to stay at Ibrox long-term despite turning down contract extensions

• Stoke boss Mark Hughes has ruled out selling Scotland midfielder Charlie Adam to newly-promoted Burnley