Javier Aquino ‘won’t sign for Celtic’ as young striker trains with Birmingham; Kris Commons named among Europe’s top 25 footballers and Hibs to keep French ‘keeper on trial
No Aquino move, says Deila
RONNY Deila has ruled out a move for winger Javier Aquino, despite reports in Spain that the speedy Mexican was in Glasgow to discuss a season-long loan deal.
The Hoops boss, who last week rubbished reports linking Celtic with Osterunds FK striker Modou Barrow, is in the market for a winger as a result of James Forrest’s injury but won’t be looking to take the Villarreal midfielder to Celtic Park.
Deila has given Derk Boerrigter the chance to stake a claim during the club’s pre-season warm-up games, while Leigh Griffiths has on occasion been pushed out wide. (Evening Times)
Commons among Europe’s top 25
KRIS Commons has been named among the top 25 in a poll of Europe’s best footballers, it has been revealed.
The 30-year-old enjoyed a goal-laden season - 32 from midfield - and picked up a host of awards. The last Celtic player to score 32 goals was Henrik Larsson.
Commons’ inclusion in the poll sees him named at No 24 alongside Javier Mascherano, Karim Benzema of Real Madrid and last year’s winner Franck Ribery.
The ex-Derby midfielder polled more votes than Robin van Persie.
The top 10 was dominated by Bayern Munich, with four players nominated including World Cup winning captain Philipp Lahm while there is only one English Premier League representative - Chelsesa new boy Diego Costa - following Luis Suarez’s transfer to Barcelona. (The Scotsman)
Johnstone training with Brum
YOUNG Celtic striker Denny Johnstone is training with Birmingham, after former Hoops coach Alan Thompson alerted the Blues to his availability.
The 19-year-old is out of contract with the Scottish Champions, and played in a training match at the weekend.
Johnstone - who had been loosely linked with Dundee United - earned plaudits for his performance in the UEFA Youth League for Celtic, but would command a compensation package if he signed for the Championship side due to his age. (Birmingham Mail)
Hibs to keep French stopper on trial
ANTOINE Gounet is to remain on trial with Hibernian, Alan Stubbs has confirmed.
The departures of Ben Williams, Sean Murdoch and Paul Grant have left Hibs with the inexperienced duo of Kleton Perntreou and Sean Brennan, despite the chance of new goalie coach Alan Combe registering as a player, and Stubbs is keen to bolster his options between the sticks.
Gounet - a former team mate of Hibs striker Farid El Alagui at Brentford - has kept clean sheets in the pre-season friendlies against Dunfermline and Stirling Albion, but had little to do at Forthbank on Sunday.
Stubbs revealed: “We’re going to monitor [Gounet] to see how he does. He’s only been with us a couple of days.
“There are one or two things on the go and we’re just waiting on decisions. It’s not what I wanted but I’m prepared to give it a few extra days if it means us getting the right person in.
“There are one or two areas that I would like to strengthen and if I can do that, great. It has to be the right person, I’ve got some good players here and the players that I bring in will be to benefit those players and to add strength and depth.” (The Scotsman)
McNamara excited by Bilate signing
NEW Dundee United forward Mario Bilate’s arrival will bring out the best in his attackers, Jackie McNamara has predicted.
The Tannadice boss brought the Russian-born Dutchman on as a substitute in United’s defeat at the hands of Utrecht last night, although the Terrors boss is aware Bilate is lacking match fitness.
The 23-year-old will battle it out with Nadir Ciftci, Brian Graham and Ryan Dow for the chance to spearhead United’s attack - which McNamara believes can only benefit his squad.
He said: “He will bring the best out of everyone.
“When you bring new players in you get that impact. Certainly, in my career, you would see new players come in every summer and you know you can’t rest on your laurels.
“Mario is a few weeks away from full fitness. We just wanted to give him a wee bit of time, and he’ll get more against NAC Breda on Tuesday.” (Daily Express)
News in brief
• Scott Boyd has signed a new deal with Ross County
• Craig Gordon played 45 minutes for Celtic in their friendly match against Dynamo Dresden at the weekend, with the match finishing 1-1
Annan Athletic 0-2 Kilmarnock
Dumbarton 1-1 Partick Thistle
Dynamo Dresden 1-1 Celtic
Elgin City 0-3 Ross County
Morton 0-1 St Mirren
Raith Rovers 0-1 Inverness CT
Sacramento Republic 1-2 Rangers
St Johnstone 0-0 York City
Stirling Albion 0-2 Hibernian
FC Utrecht 2-1 Dundee United