In today’s Rumour Mill: Hibs sign Scott Robertson; Hearts chase Sunderland striker Noble; Tottenham join race for Hooper plus the rest of the day’s Scottish football transfer news and gossip.
Pat Fenlon adds Scott Robertson to squad whilst Claros situation still unclear
Hibernian today confirmed the signing of former Dundee United midfielder Scott Robertson on a two-and-a-half year deal from Championship side Blackpool.
Robertson said: “This is a great move for me and I’m really excited about what we can achieve at Hibs.
“The club has made a decent start to the season. We are in a strong position in order to be able to progress even further.”
Manager Pat Fenlon added: “Scott is a skilful box-to-box midfielder, who is strong in the air and can provide goals. He will be a valuable addition.”
Meanwhile, confusion surrounds the position of Honduran midfielder Jorge Claros. The international’s parent club Motagua announced last week that Claros had already extended his loan deal at Easter Road - which Fenlon denied. He admitted that he had left the ‘Pitbull’ out of his squad yesterday to face Aberdeen, because he wasn’t in the right frame of mind and had been left unsettled by the neogotiations surrounding his future.
Hearts ponder loan move for Sunderland striker Ryan Noble
John McGlynn has reportedly contacted Sunderland with a view to taking striker Ryan Noble to Tynecastle on loan. Hearts added Liverpool striker Michael Ngoo to their squad last week, the giant forward making an instant impact as he levelled the score in his side’s League Cup semi-final with Inverness CT at Easter Road.
21-year-old Noble has had loan spells with Hartlepool and Derby County, but has made just six appearances as a substitute for Sunderland, and could be allowed to leave on a further loan deal to gain additional experience.
Tottenham join Norwich in race for Celtic striker Gary Hooper
Norwich manager Chris Hughton is believed to be willing to offer £8 million to secure the services of Gary Hooper, as the Canaries boss looks to add some much-needed firepower to his shot-shy team, who crashed out of the FA Cup to non-league Luton Town at the weekend. The Carrow Road side have amassed just 24 goals despite a respectable start to the season, and are ahead of only QPR, Aston Villa and Stoke in the ‘goals for’ column.
Celtic are keen to hold on to their prolific striker, but as talks stall on a renewed contract, the Parkhead side may be forced into letting their hitman go.
Tottenham Hotspur are also reportedly chasing the former Scunthorpe striker, as chairman Daniel Levy looks to strengthen his squad after a disappointing cup exit at the hands of Leeds. Andre Villas Boas has only two recognised strikers on his books - Jermaine Defoe and Emmanuel Adebayor - with midfielder Clint Dempsey as a third option, and could move for the Celtic striker to strenghten his squad.
Kenyan FA announce Wanyama will leave Celtic
The Kenyan Football Association have waded into the transfer speculation surrounding Celtic midfielder Victor Wanyama by claiming that he will be leaving the Parkhead side ‘soon’.
President of the African country’s football governing body, Sam Nyamweya, said: “Wanyama will soon be joining one of the big two clubs in the world.
“It is an exciting moment for us, which means that Kenya is a powerhouse in football.”
Wanyama has been strongly linked with a move to either Arsenal or Manchester United, but Celtic are anxious not to lose the influential player.
Peter Houston and Dundee United part company
Dundee United boss Peter Houston has left the club with immediate effect. Houston departs by mutual consent, with a club statement reading: “Peter, who recently confirmed he would not be renewing his contract at the Club, led Dundee United to Scottish Cup success in 2010 and helped the squad qualify for
European football on three consecutive occasions.
“He leaves with the thanks of everyone at the Club and best wishes for the future.”
Prior to his departure, the former Scotland assistant boss had been the longest-serving continuous manager in the SPL.
Scottish football news in brief
• SPL clubs will meet today to discuss league reconstruction proposals but are unlikely to vote on a 12-12-18 model.
• Hearts goalkeeper Jamie MacDonald reckons he scared Inverness CT’s Philip Roberts into missing his penalty during the nailbiting shoot-out between the two sides in Saturday’s League Cup semi-final by screaming at him.
• Crystal Palace have lined up Johnny Russell as a possible replacement for Wilfried Zaha, should their star striker leave for the English Premier League. Valued at £1.8 million by the Tannadice club, Russell could follow former team mate David Goodwillie down south.