SOUTHAMPTON could make a record-breaking bid for Victor Wanyama, reaction to Hearts’ troubles continues to pour in, and the makers of the Killie Pie wade into the row at Kilmarnock, plus the latest from Rangers, Ross County and Aberdeen in Wednesday’s Rumour Mill.
Southampton to launch £10m Wanyama bid
Southampton are set to kick off a bidding war for Celtic ace Victor Wanyama, having opened talks for a £10 million transfer.
The Sun report that Southampton reached out to Celtic at the start of this week, keen to seal a quick deal. However, with their offer now public knowledge Celtic will hope that they can nudge other interested parties into moving closer to Neil Lennon’s £25 million valuation of his star player.
The 21-year-old Kenyan midfielder has been subject of near-constant speculation linking him to clubs across Europe. Arsenal, Stoke, Manchester United and Juventus have all been linked with moves for the midfielder. (Sun)
Hearts: Former director says liquidation ‘only way out’, as Murray says FoH are only serious bidder
• Former Ukio Bankas Liutauras Varanavicius believes that liquidation is a real possibility for Hearts. The former director at Tynecastle said: “I thought maybe the club would be sold before administration happened, but the market has been bad and it’s the wrong time to sell anything in football.
“Bankruptcy and liquidation is the only way out for Hearts now.” (Mail)
• Tynecastle could be sold off if Hearts’ Lithuanian backers are able to get their choice of administrator appointed. The Record reports that Ukio Bankas are keen to appoint an administrator who will put the bank’s creditors first, and maximise the amount paid out by selling off the prime Gorgie site.
• Foundation of Hearts chairman Ian Murray has said that the group is currently “the only organisation” with a genuine interest in buying the club.
In a webchat on scotsman.com, the Edinburgh MP said: “If there is a white knight out there then we would welcome them with open arms.
“However, if there is not then the FoH are the only organisation that is attempting to buy the club. By pledging it costs you nothing and you will get your money back if we are unsuccessful.” (Read the full webchat as it happened)
• Former Hearts player and manager John Robertson believes the club will be relegated next season if squad cuts at Tynecastle extend to fringe and young players.
Robertson said: “I don’t think any of the senior players will be left on the books... my concern would be about clubs interested in some of Hearts’ young talent, the likes of Jamie Walker.
“If Hearts were to lose those next season, on top of the transfer embargo... it would be nothing more than the current under-19 team. It would look like they would head towards the First Division.”
• Problems keep piling up for Hearts - their new replica kits have failed to arrive on time, delaying a potentially vital cash boost. The adidas shirts, which retail at over £50, will not arrive in Gorgie until next week after shipping problems in the Far East.
van Dijk on Celtic: ‘It’s a fantastic club’
Virgil van Dijk has called Celtic a “fantastic club”, after his current side Groningen revealed that he will be sold this summer.
The Dutch under-21 centre-half has been linked with Celtic since the weekend, and Neil Lennon’s side have placed at least one bid for the defender. van Dijk said that Celtic would be “a step up” from the Eredivisie, and that he is waiting for the teams to agree a deal.
Kilmarnock: Killie Pie boss heading boardroom coup bid
John Gall, the businessman behind the famous ‘Killie Pie’, is leading a new bid to oust Kilmarnock chairman Michael Johnston.
Gall, chairman of the Ayrshire Businesses group which wrote an open letter to Johnston calling for him to go, said that Johnston “has to realise his time is up”.
Johnston hit back last night, saying that comments from someone in Gall’s position were “concerning”.
He added: “Kilmarnock spend £30,000 a year with John’s company and we have allowed him to use the term Killie Pie, which is a registered trademark of the club.
“He has built the pie up to become his company’s principal product, so it’s disappointing to find him working against me.”
Partick Thistle ban Celtic fans from main stand
Celtic have been banned from the main stand at Firhill next season, after the club’s fans were dubbed a fire risk by officials.
Police and health and safety officials said that fans’ record of setting off flares and smoke bombs - with three incidents in the last three years - presented a risk to Thistle’s wooden grandstand. The Glasgow Cup final between Rangers and Celtic youth teams at the ground was also marred by flares and smoke bombs set off by supporters. (Record)
Novo may make Ibrox return - against Rangers
Nacho Novo could make a return to Scottish football with East Fife.
The 34-year-old striker had hoped to return to Rangers, but could now face them next season instead. It is thought meetings between Novo and the owners of the second division side will take place later in the week.
IN OTHER NEWS
• Richard Brittain is back on the payroll at Ross County - despite signing a pre-contract with St Johnstone. County boss Derek Adams revealed the news as the tug of war for the Staggies captain continues.
• Former Rangers and Scotland captain Barry Ferguson has signed a one-year deal with Blackpool.
• Aberdeen have signed up 28-year-old DR Congo striker Calvin Zola, while Kilmarnock’s Cillian Sheridan is set to leave for Apoel Nicosia in Cyprus.