CELTIC linked with move for Leigh Griffiths, Hibs keep tabs on former Motherwell winger Jamie Murphy while Georgios Samaras linked with Atletico Madrid and Hull
Celtic linked with Griffiths but Wolves deny January exit
CELTIC manager Neil Lennon could try and tempt Wolves with a £1 million offer for Leigh Griffiths later this month as he seeks to solve his striker woes.
Griffiths, who scored nearly 40 goals in two loan spells with Hibernian, hasn’t started a match for the Molineux side since being substituted on December 14th against MK Dons, after which manager Kenny Jackett criticised the 23-year-old’s work rate.
Lennon is looking for a proven goalscorer after losing hitman Gary Hooper to Norwich, and Griffiths - who has scored 13 goals this season for Wolves - is understood to be keen on a return to Scotland but Jackett has insisted the former Dundee and Livingston striker is very much in his plans, saying: “We are looking to improve our striking department if we can. Letting Leigh Griffiths go would not improve it.” (Daily Mail/The Scotsman)
Hibs monitoring Jamie Murphy situation
HIBERNIAN are reportedly keeping tabs on Jamie Murphy’s situation at Sheffield United as the January transfer window opens.
The former Motherwell winger, who scored against Tranmere Rovers earlier this week, is thought to feature on a list of potential targets drawn up by Terry Butcher as he seeks to bolster his squad.
Hibs are yet to make a formal approach, but could test The Blades’ resolve by putting in a bid if the 24-year-old looks unlikely to feature in boss Nigel Clough’s plans. (Sheffield Telegraph)
Hull face fight with Atletico Madrid for Georgios Samaras
HULL City have reportedly joined the race for Georgios Samaras’ signature as Spanish cracks Atletico Madrid were revealed as a surprise destination for the Greek striker.
Out of contract in the summer, Samaras is free to talk to clubs over a summer move, and has shown no inclination to accept a new deal at Celtic.
He has also been linked with Italian outfit Lazio.
It is understood that Atletico are the only club to table an offer so far, with Samaras revealing over Christmas that he would only leave Celtic for an ambitious club capable of winning trophies in a more competitive league.
But Hull could submit a £1 million offer to take the former Manchester City striker back to England. (Daily Mail)
Billy McKay laughs off seven-figure price tag
INVERNESS Caledonian Thistle striker Billy McKay reckons the £1 million price tag placed on him by his club is simply to ward off potential suitors.
The 25-year-old has been in sparkling form for the Caley Jags this season, netting 17 goals so far and attracting attention from a number of clubs down south, but the former Northampton Town forward has said he is happy at Inverness: “Coming up here has really helped my career progress,” he said.
“I have been happy for the last two years and I just want to carry on scoring goals for Inverness.”
“It is up to them – if they don’t want to sell me what can I do?” (Daily Record)
Matthews wants Ledley to extend Celtic stay
CELTIC defender Adam Matthews yesterday appealed for friend and compatriot Joe Ledley to stay at Parkhead.
The former Cardiff City midfielder has been linked with a string of English clubs since it became apparent that he was stalling on a new deal.
Ledley controlled the midfield in Celtic’s 1-0 win over Inverness earlier this week, but Matthews has urged his countryman to sign on the dotted line, describing him as ‘a brilliant player, adding: “He showed he can play at the very top level in the Champions League time and again.
“I think a club like Celtic needs to keep all of our top players and Joe is definitely one of them.” (The Scotsman)
Paul McGowan ‘not thinking about jail sentence’
ST MIRREN’s Paul McGowan has insisted his mind remains at ease despite the possibility of a jail sentence after he pleaded guilty to attacking two police officers.
The former Celtic player has claimed he does not fear punishment, but admitted: “It’s been a difficult few weeks for me, but the club have helped me and it will all get sorted soon.”
“Coming into training has been a release for me. Apart from football, I’ve got nothing on my mind when I’m here.
“I’m not too worried. I sort of know what will happen so I’m not stressing out too much.” (The Scotsman)
• Former Hearts goalkeeper Marian Kello has extended his stay at St Mirren until the end of the season (The Scotsman)
• Dundee United stopper John Souttar has revealed he signed a contract extension at Tannadice and ignored potential interest from England as he feared becoming the latest young Scot to fail to make a mark in England (STV)
• Celtic will be keeping a close watch on transfer developments at Tannadice as the Terrors gear up for a raft of bids for their highly-rated youngsters. The Parkhead side could pitch in with counter-offers if United turn down bids from down south (Daily Record)
• Kenny Miller has admitted that he would relish the chance to return to Rangers for a third time. The Vancouver Whitecaps striker is out of contract in July (The Scotsman)
• St Johnstone have been linked with a move for Bolton striker Michael O’Halloran as Tommy Wright seeks to bolster his squad following Steven MacLean’s injury setback (The Courier)
• Morton are awaiting international clearance to sign former Hibs and Birmingham striker Garry O’Connor. The one-time Scotland striker has been training with the Cappielow side (Daily Record)
• Dundee are pondering a loan move for St Johnstone striker Chris Kane (Evening Telegraph)