In today’s Rumour Mill: Celtic agree to Victor Wanyama’s Southampton move; Hearts administration latest news; John Collins remembers the Romanov era; Frank de Boer talks Virgil van Dijk; plus the rest of the news from around Scottish football.
Wanyama on his way to Southampton
Celtic last night agreed a fee, reportedly in the £10-12 million range, for Victor Wanyama from English Premier League side Southampton.
The Sun reports that Celtic have granted Wanyama permission to talk to the south coast club. (The Sun)
Wanyama said: “Yes, my club has agreed terms with Southampton, but I will also have to agree to terms before I consider myself a Saint. The deal is far from being complete.”
Wanyama has been attracting attention across Europe after his Champions League performances last season, and a host of other top clubs are in the wings in case the Southampton deal does not go ahead.
Cardiff City and Galatasaray are ready to match Southampton’s offer with Liverpool, Newcastle and Stoke waiting in the wings. (Daily Mail)
Hearts manager Gary Locke has spoken of his best and worst times as a Jambo, rating Hearts’ 5-1 Scottish Cup Final win over Hibs last year as the best of his career.
Locke said: “If you were to ask me for the highlight of my career, I’d say the 5-1 game against Hibs.
“But when you look at what happened yesterday and what’s happening now, you think to yourself: ‘Was it worth it?
“It’s a very, very difficult question. Would I change it? No.
“But if I knew this was going to happen, then you probably would.” (Various)
Gary Locke’s worst day
Locke admitted Thursday was his worst day in football, but the gaffer is confident the Hearts faithful will come good and save the club.
He said: “It’s been horrible, absolutely horrible. Thursday was as bad a day as I’ve had in football.
“To say I’ve not had much sleep over the last 48 hours is an understatement.
“To see so many terrific people losing their jobs was heartbreaking. I was there when they were coming out the door upset and it was very difficult.”
A broken hearted Locke was addressing the media at Tynecastle yesterday after spending the morning trying to negotiate pay cuts with some of his players.
He added, “we’re in a bleak, bleak position. There’s NO money.
“If the fans don’t rally round the club, we won’t be here. That’s it in a nutshell. I saw how the fans rallied round the club last year.” (Various)
Hearts fans doing their duty
Hearts supporters have done their bit so far buying 500 season tickets in the first 24 hours.
The mass purchase has raised about £150,000, and is a sixth of the way towards the target of 3,000 sales which BDO hope to reach in their first fortnight in charge.
More sales were expected online last night, while supporters also continued to raise money in other ways. By early evening yesterday, fans’ website Jambos Kickback had generated more than £13,000 – more than halfway to its target of £20,000. (Scotsman)
McGowan still has Tynecastle club in his heart
Former Hearts midfielder Ryan McGowan has pledged to buy a season ticket for every 1000 the Tynecastle club sell over the next few weeks. Aussie McGowan was sold to the Chinese Super League club Shandong Luneng Taishan in a £400,000 deal in January, ending a six-year association with Hearts. (Various)
John Collins: ‘Hearts spending made it better when we beat them’
Former Hibs boss John Collins has weighed in on the situation at Tynecastle suggesting it was always just a matter of time before Hearts’ spending caught up with them.
Collins said: “Everyone knew at the time that the wages we were paying and the wages they were paying were miles apart.
“I said at the time that it would only be a matter of time before it all came back to haunt them.”
Collins was Hibs boss at the height of Romanov’s spending, during Collins’ tenure Hearts splashed the cash on the likes of Marius Zaliukas, Jose Goncalves, Julien Brellier, Roman Bednar and Saulius Mikoliunas.
Collins went on, “You can only bring in so much money with a 14,000 crowd and from the television money but what they were paying on salaries was unsustainable. It has caught up with them.
“I feel for the players and the supporters because this is going to be a tough period for them now.
“At the time I just got on with it. It made it even better when we beat them.” (The Sun)
Hearts administrators slash payroll
BDO have acted swiftly to remove the last vestiges of the old regime at Tynecastle.
Roman Romanov, Sergejus Fedotovas and Vitalijus Vasiliauskas have lost their positions and been removed from the Hearts payroll. (Scotsman)
Frank de Boer on Virgil van Dijk
Dutch legend, and former Rangers star, Frank de Boer believes Celtic signing Virgil van Dijk has what it takes to be a star in the SPL.
Ajax manager de Boer has long been an admirer of van Dijk, he said: “Virgil has all the qualities needed to be a great central defender. He’s big, strong and has good footballing ability.
“He’s a boy we have been keeping an eye out for a long time – he’s one for the future, he is a great footballer.” (Daily Record)
Rangers move ‘not a backward step’
Jon Daly has dismissed talk of his move to Rangers being a backward step, insisting his move to to the Third Division champions can be the most successful period of his career.
“If people question my ambition, that’s their opinion,” said Daly. “People keep telling me it is a drop in standard playing in the Second Division, but I never gave it that much thought when Rangers came in for me.” (Various)
Weir keen on making Boyd a Blade
David Weir, now managing Sheffield United, is keen on his former Rangers team-mate Kris Boyd. Boyd has talked of signing a new deal at Kilmarnock where he spent last season. (Daily Express)