CELTIC have been linked with Sivasspor midfielder Aatif Chahechouhe and Wolves stopper Richard Stearman; Gary Locke should learn his Hearts future in the next two weeks; United’s Armstrong reveals Bundesliga dream and more
Celtic keep tabs on Chahechouhe and Stearman
SIVASSPOR midfielder and Turkish Super Lig’s top scorer Aatif Chahechouhe has emerged as a target for Celtic this summer. The 27-year-old has scored 14 goals this season, and has attracted interest from Marseille.
A part-timer until leaving Bulgarian outfit Chernomorets Burgas two years ago, the Hoops could get the French-born Moroccan for around £2 million.
However, the Parkhead side could face stiff competition from Turkish giants Besiktas, who are also monitoring the situation.
Celtic have also been linked with Wolves defender Richard Stearman. The 26-year-old has missed just seven games this season as he helped Wolves to promotion back to the Championship. A free agent in the summer, he is believed to be a target for Leeds and Bolton, and has played for Ipswich and Leicester in the past. (The Herald)
• What are the main issues affecting Scottish football now and in the future? Can Rangers return to their former success, what does the future hold for Hearts and who should win the PFA player of the year award?
Van Dijk rubbishes England move rumours
VIRGIL van Dijk has poured scorn on rumours linking him with a summer move to England. The highly-rated Dutch defender has been touted for a move to an English Premier League club during the close season, and his agent had claimed ‘absolute top clubs’ in England were showing an interest.
But the 22-year-old has dismissed the claims, telling Sky Sports: “I don’t know anything about it. First of all I have a contract until 2017 I think, so I don’t have to move, and I think the Champions League is always a big thing for every player. I want to play Champions League.” (Sky Sports)
Commons in ‘no rush’ to extend Celtic deal
MIDFIELDER Kris Commons has insisted he is no rush to open contract talks with Celtic, adding: “I’ve still got a year left on my contract and I’m only 30 - it’s not as if I’m 35 or 36 and trying to nick another 12 months.”
Commons has been in sparkling form for the Scottish champions, and is at the stage in his career where he may have one last ‘big move’ left.
But the former Scotland international suggested the lure of Champions League football and the nagging feeling of ‘unfinished business’ might be enough to keep him in Glasgow. (The Scotsman)
Rangers fans demand Wallace bonus truth
RANGERS fans have demanded Ibrox chief Graham Wallace reveals whether he is in line for a £300,000 bonus. Supporters’ coalition group Union of Fans issued a statement last night expressing ‘shareholder concern’ about the culture of large cashrewards in the boardroom, which saw former chief executive Charles Green and ex-finance czar Brian Stockbridge double their salaries while at the club.
And now Ibrox fans have demanded clarity on whether Wallace is in line to pick up a whopping bonus that could see his annual earnings top £600,000.
The statement said: “We would therefore urge Graham Wallace to disclose publicly whether or not he has ended the bonus culture within the club or whether it has continued with new appointments.
“We do not feel that, under circumstances in which the club is losing large amounts of money on a monthly basis, shareholders should have to wait until the audited accounts are published to find this out.
“Can Mr Wallace, for instance, earn an annual 100 per cent bonus on his salary, which it has been said is in excess of £300,000 a year?” (Daily Record)
Locke’s future to be decided in next two weeks
GARY Locke is expecting his future to be thrashed out in the next two weeks now that Hearts are on the brink of exiting administration. Prospective owner Ann Budge has yet to announce her plans for the club but Locke admitted he was more concerned with the club’s future than his own.
“I’ve worked hard and I’ve tried to do the very best I can for Hearts but it’s not about Gary Locke’, he insisted yesterday. “It’s been about the survival of this great football club.”
Hearts administrators BDO, led by Bryan Jackson, are hoping to conclude the Sale and Purchase Agreement allowing ownership to pass to the Foundation of Hearts takeover vehicle Bidco at the end of the 20-day cooling off period, provided there are no hitches in that time.
And Locke added: “I have met [Ann Budge] a couple of times and it has obviously been good to hear her opinions on stuff, and she’s heard mine. That’s been about it. She’s certainly had a lot more on her plate than just worrying about Gary Locke.” (The Scotsman)
Stuart Armstrong harbours Bundesliga dreams
DUNDEE United midfielder Stuart Armstrong has admitted that his dream is to play in the German top flight. The 22-year-old, who has been at Tannadice for over five years, and has revealed his ambition is to play in the Bundesliga.
The Scotland Under-21 captain told The Sun how Dundee United’s pre-season games in Germany had given him a taste for German football. Armstrong added: “The Bundesliga is a very good league to be involved in so that’s something I’d maybe aspire to be a part of one day.
“Ryan Gauld likes the Spanish league, but I prefer Germany though I’m too young to remember Paul Lambert being over there.
“But at the same time, I’ve alwyas liked the attraction of coming back to the UK. I like the climate and the homely feel.” (The Sun)
News in brief
• Derek McInnes has expressed his surprise that no Aberdeen players were nominated for the Player of the Year award
• Andy Goram has tipped Steve Simonsen to bounce back from his cup semi final error
• Bilel Mohsni has said he would prefer to stay and help Rangers to the top than join a team in the English Premier League