ARSENAL, Stoke and Newcastle join the chase for Celtic’s highly-rated midfielder Victor Wanyama, Walter Smith keen to stabilise Rangers, and Hibs new boy Owain Tudur Jones reveals his Euro hopes.
Premier League trio join Wanyama hunt
Arsenal have become the latest club to be linked with Celtic’s Kenyan midfielder Victor Wanyama, with The Sun reporting that the Gunners are to table a £10 million bid. The highly-rated 22-year-old has been linked with a string of top clubs, with Arsenal joining the likes of Inter Milan and Manchester United.
Now new Stoke City boss Mark Hughes is understood to be preparing a £10 million bid - and Newcastle United have stepped up their interest in the versatile Kenyan as well, after it emerged they could lose Ivorian midfielder Chieck Tiote.
Wanyama, who was signed by Celtic from Belgian side Germinal Beerschot for £900,000, has played 61 games for the Parkhead side, scoring 13 goals in the process.
He has been linked with a number of moves to the Premier League, but as a result of his performances for Celtic in the Champions League, is not expected to go for anything less than £10 million.
Hughes tried to sign Wanyama during his time at QPR, but although a £7 million fee was reportedly agreed, the Loftus Road club couldn’t reach an agreement with Celtic.
The Parkhead side are bracing themselves for a flurry of bids for striker Gary Hooper, and goalkeeper Fraser Forster as well as Wanyama. (The Sun)
Celtic eye Ivorian pair and Newcastle duo
Celtic are reportedly keen on a quartet of highly-rated players - French-based Ivorian pair Yannick Sagbo and Brice Dja Djedje, and Newcastle’s former St Mirren loanees Paul Dummett and Conor Newton.
Neil Lennon is said to be working his way through a list of potential signings given to him by his scouts, and both Sagbo and Dja Djedje impressed in Evian’s 3-2 defeat to Bordeaux in the French Cup Final on Friday. Sagbo is a powerful striker, whilst Dja Djedje is a versatile attacking fullback. However, the French side are after £2 million for Sagbo, and £2.8 million for Dja Djedje - but sales of the likes of Forster, Wanyama and Hooper could give the Hoops boss a transfer kitty to reckon with.
Dummett and Newton, who impressed during loan spells with St Mirren, have been on Lennon’s radar following impressive displays against the Parkhead side, and could be set to snub a return to Paisley in favour of turning out for Celtic.
According to the pair’s agent, Spencer Downey, a host of clubs are interested in the duo, who haven’t ruled out a move to St Mirren. (Various)
Walter Smith: I’ll make sure Rangers are stabilised
Rangers chairman Walter Smith has vowed to stabilise Rangers and bring the good times back to the Ibrox club.
The two-times Ibrox boss is keen for Rangers to be on the back pages for all the right reasons, telling fans earlier this week that he is keen for the club to be at the pinnacle of Scottish football ‘where they belong’, and will focus on stabilising the club.
Speaking to The Sun, Smith insists that the board will ‘leave the chief executive to get on with the day-to-day running of the club’.
He added: “Let what happens on the football pitch make headlines, rather than anything else.
“I think people have forgotten over the past couple of years that Rangers is about a football team.
“The football side has suffered enough. We’ve got to get back to focusing on the football.
“Hopefully I can bring that focus to the boardroom.”
Smith replaced Malcolm Murray as non-executive chairman of the Second Division side. (The Sun)
‘Euro lure was too much’ - Tudur Jones
Hibernian new boy Owain Tudur Jones has admitted the chance to play in Europe was part of the reason he jumped at the chance to sign for the Easter Road club. The towering Welshman enjoyed a successful season with Inverness CT last year but just failed to nab a European spot with the Highlanders - and now Jones is desperate to help Hibs progress in the Europa League.
Despite enjoying his most successful season with the Caley Jags, Jones is champing at the bit to test himself against unknown opposition, and is looking forward to facing different sides in Europe.
• Paul McGowan set to snub suitors and extend St Mirren stay
Despite a glut of interest from clubs including Ipswich Town, former Celtic midfielder Paul McGowan looks set to extend his stay in Paisley. McGowan, who was a key player in Danny Lennon’s side last season including their march to League Cup victory, has a host of admirers, but has been in talks with St Mirren chiefs keen to hold on to the creative midfielder.
• Alan Maybury: ‘No Gers hassle for Daly’
Hibernian’s veteran defender Alan Maybury reckons Jon Daly won’t get any stick as an Irish Catholic playing for Rangers as times have changed. Maybury, 34, was courted by Rangers as a youngster before eventually signing for Leeds, and revealed the hassle he got from Celtic-daft locals for wearing Rangers gear in Dublin was part of the reason he chose Yorkshire over Glasgow - but the former St Johnstone and Hearts defender doesn’t believe Daly will get any hassle at all.
• Rangers clinch Peralta deal
Ally McCoist looks to have all but added Honduran ace Arnold Peralta to his Ibrox ranks. The 24-year-old midfielder has reportedly agreed a four-year contract and will move from Deportivo Vida to Govan. Paperwork delayed a deal after Peralta held talks with McCoist last month, but he looks set to join Cammy Bell, Jon Daly, Nicky Law and Nicky Clark at Ibrox.