CELTIC’S move for Heerenveen striker Alfred Finnbogason could be back on, Joe Ledley set to sign new Celtic deal plus the latest from the build-up to the first Edinburgh derby of 2014
Celtic move for Finnbogason could be back on
NEIL Lennon has dropped strong hints that Icelandic striker Alfred Finnbogason - who has netted 41 goals in 48 appearances for Dutch side SC Heerenveen - could yet become a Celtic player, despite the 24-year-old’s price tag proving a stumbling block for the Hoops in the summer.
The Celtic boss is still searching for a free-scoring replacement for Gary Hooper who left Glasgow for Norwich last year, and has been linked with a number of strikers including Peterborough’s Lee Tomlin and Huddersfield Town forward James Vaughan - but he dismissed reports linking Celtic with a move for Wolves forward Leigh Griffiths.
Lennon told the Daily Record: “We don’t know what [Finnbogason] is worth now. We don’t know if his price has gone up or not.
“We did make inroads in the summer, whether we go again or whether he is out of our price range is a different thing.” (Daily Record)
Lennon ‘hopeful’ of Ledley deal
CELTIC were handed a further boost yesterday following their 1-0 win over Partick Thistle with the news that goalscorer Joe Ledley has reportedly indicated his desire to stay at the club.
Neil Lennon revealed that the Welsh midfielder had spoken to him on Tuesday and that it was now a matter of agreeing a deal with his representatives.
The Hoops boss added: “You are never confident but you are hopeful. [Ledley] has been an important player for me and the club and he gives us the stability I need. We can’t have all our players leaving for big money, or bringing in players and just developing them for a couple of years.” (The Scotsman)
Ryan Stevenson keen for second Edinburgh derby winner
He scored a spectacular goal the last time the sides met, and Hearts midfielder Ryan Stevenson is eager to do it all over again. The 29-year-old has admitted that he would have taken longer out to recover from injury, but returned to help Hearts to a morale-boosting 1-1 draw with St Mirren.
The former Ipswich midfielder, who has proved something of a talisman for the Jambos, said: “It was probably not ideal for me having to play the full 90 minutes, but in the end it was a good point, and we were unlucky maybe not to take the three points.
“Another step in the right direction after a poor run of form over the last four to six weeks.” (The Scotsman)
Hibs shrink is making all the difference - Williams
Meanwhile Hibernian ‘keeper Ben Williams has hinted at the reason behind the team’s steady improvement under new manager Terry Butcher. The English stopper has praised psychologist David Yeoman, who joined the club when Butcher made the switch from the Highland capital.
Hibs have lost just one match in seven under Butcher so far, and Williams has paid tribute to the fresh approach.
He told the Daily Record: “The manager is keen to get across the importance of psychology in football.
“It plays a massive part. It doesn’t have to work for everybody. For the few that it does though, it only takes minor improvements for each individual and then the collective group can take a giant step forward.” (Daily Record)
• Ross County have taken Blackburn Rovers striker Jordan Slew on loan until the season’s end, and the the former England Under-19 forward made an impressive debut against Inverness Caledonian Thistle as the Staggies won the first Highland derby of 2014
• Two Aberdeen fans were arrested after a number of smoke bombs and flares were set off during their team’s match with Dundee United yesterday
• Nigerian midfielder Gabriel Reuben has left Kilmarnock after the club accepted his request to terminate his contract. The 23-year-old struggled to hold down a place after suffering an injury. He had signed a three-year contract in April but has left to further his chances of an international call-up ahead of the World Cup
• Meanwhile, Reuben’s compatriot Rabiu Ibrahim looks likely to follow him out of the Rugby Park exit. The former Celtic youngster has not featured for the side since collapsing during the side’s 2-0 win over Ross County in October
• Former Celtic winger Aiden McGeady could be set for a move to English Premier League side Everton. Manager Roberto Martinez is a big admirer of the Republic of Ireland midfielder and could get McGeady for a nominal fee.
• Ex-Hearts captain Marius Zaliukas has been rewarded for a number of good performances for Leeds United by putting pen to paper on a deal that will keep him at Elland Road until summer 2015