CELTIC manager Neil Lennon hints at Leigh Griffiths bid, Brian Stockbridge departs Rangers, Terry Butcher refutes Rooney comments plus the rest of today’s Scottish football news and gossip
Lennon drops strongest hint yet over Griffiths
CELTIC boss Neil Lennon has described former Hibs striker Leigh Griffiths as ‘highly thought of’ but stopped short of confirming the Hoops’ interest in the 23-year-old.
Wolves striker Griffiths has been linked with Celtic this month and stated earlier this week that it would be an ‘honour’ and ‘definitely something I would consider’ when asked about a potential transfer.
Lennon is seeking a new striker as a priority during this window, and revealed yesterday that a move for one of his first-choice foreign-based targets - who he refused to identify - was ‘dead in the water’.
Despite Wolves manager Kenny Jackett’s insistence that Griffiths is not for sale, the Molineux club could be tempted by an offer of around £1.25 million.
English Premier League side Swansea City have also emerged as admirers of the Scotland international.
Meanwhile, misfit striker Mo Bangura looks to be on his way out of Celtic after Lennon admitted that the Sierra Leone striker had no future at the club. The 24-year-old has never scored a competitive goal for the Hoops, and has spent the majority of his time on loan in Sweden, with AIK and Elfsborg. (The Scotsman / Evening Times)
Stockbridge departs Rangers
FINANCE director Brian Stockbridge last night left Rangers, departing without a pay-off or bonus, according to the club.
Stockbridge - regarded by many Rangers fans as central to the club’s latest financial worries - was appointed by Charles Green in June 2012 following the Yorkshire businessman’s acquisition of the club’s assets and business following administration and liquidation, and oversaw a loss of £14.4 million in the first 13 months of trading for the newco club.
He admitted earlier thisseason that Rangers would only have £1 million left in the bank by April.
His sudden departure comes amid chief executive Graham Wallace’s review of club operations. Philip Nash - ex-finance chief at Liverpool and Arsenal - who had been performing a consultancy role at the club, will take up Stockbridge’s role on a temporary basis.
The club confirmed that they had already begun the search for a successor to Stockbridge. (The Scotsman)
Butcher hits out at Rooney’s ‘comments’ over transfer
‘ABSOLUTE b*llocks’ was Hibernian manager Terry Butcher’s response to comments made by new Aberdeen striker Adam Rooney suggesting that he had passed up the chance to be reunited with his former boss at Inverness.
Not one for mincing his words, Butcher explained that the club had enquired about Rooney’s availability on a loan deal, but accepted he wanted a permanent move from Oldham Athletic. The Hibs boss has been open in his plans to bolster his squad with loan signings before rebuilding in the summer months.
Butcher revealed: “I spoke to Adam’s agent and he wanted a permanent deal, whereas we are looking more at loan deals. But we never got around to talking figures or anything like that.” (The Scotsman / various)
Jason Holt a major doubt for semi-final
HEARTS midfielder Jason Holt is a major injury doubt for the Jambos’ League Cup semi-final clash with Inverness CT. Gary Locke revealed that Holt is still suffering discomfort in his injured foot,
The 20-year-old broke his metatarsal while training in November and although he has started light running, has yet to properly participate in training.
Locke is set to give Holt every chance to make the match, but conceded that the situation is ‘touch and go’, adding: “If he isn’t kicking a ball by next week then you would have to rule him out.” (Evening News)
NEWS IN BRIEF
• Kilmarnock striker William Gros has declared himself to be as good as Kris Boyd, in the wake of reports that the former Rangers striker is wanted by Blackpool
• Dundee United starlets Ryan Gauld and John Souttar have returned to the club after their period of leave
• And United defender Mark Wilson has extended his stay at Tannadice until the end of season 2014/15
• St Johnstone are set to sign recently released Manchester City player Fisayo Adarabioyo. The 18-year-old would join the Saints’ Under-20 squad
• An Aberdeen fan has been banned from matches for two years after he was caught waving a smoke bomb at the Dons’ New Year’s day clash with Dundee United
• Celtic midfielder Callum McGregor has extended his loan with Notts County while striker Bahrudin Atajic has joined Scunthorpe.