CELTIC’s Finnish target compared to Gary Hooper, the boardroom row at Ibrox rumbles on, and a Hibs midfielder says the club are missing Leigh Griffiths like Arsenal miss Robin van Persie, plus all the rest of Saturday’s football news in the Rumour Mill.
Pukki ‘is the new Gary Hooper’
Neil Lennon has confirmed that Celtic have compared Schalke striker and transfer target Teemu Pukki to former Hoops hitman Gary Hooper.
Celtic have had a bid for the Finn knocked back, but Lennon is keen to get his man despite the fact that visa restrictions have already ruled him out of the Champions League playoff.
Lennon said: “(Pukki)’s similar to Gary. He’s got that stocky build, he’s maybe not as physical as Gary but his movement is excellent and so is his first touch.” (Mail)
Ibrox boardroom row: Easdale slams ‘waste of money’ meeting
Rangers shareholder Sandy Easdale has called for his fellow investors to bring an end to their boardroom spat, after branding a planned general meeting at the club “a waste of money”.
The bus tycoon, who increased his stake in the Ibrox club this week, has criticised fellow shareholders - led by businessman Jim McColl - for their actions in looking to remove CEO Craig Mather, financial director Brian Stockbridge and non-executive director Bryan Smart.
A spokesman for Easdale told the Herald: “We find it a bit appalling that they are going to cost the club they profess to love this money and Sandy thinks it is a complete and utter waste of time. He is very keen that that doesn’t happen.” (Herald)
Lennon says Scotland game a Celtic ‘disaster’
Neil Lennon believes that Scotland’s friendly with England could be ‘disastrous’ for his Celtic side.
Scott Brown and James Forrest both picked up knocks in the 3-2 defeat for the national side, and Lennon hit out at the timing of the showpiece game ahead of key games in the league and in Europe.
Lennon said: “We’ve got a 12.30pm kick-off against one of our biggest rivals and then a huge game on Tuesday halfway across Europe. But it is the same every season, when it seems you have these international friendlies before some of the associations have even kicked a ball in anger.” (Scotsman)
Robertson: Griffiths was Hibs’ van Persie
Scott Robertson believes that Leigh Griffiths is as great a loss to Hibs as Robin van Persie was to Arsenal.
The midfielder claimed that Griffiths’ goals and play had a similar impact last season to the performance of Manchester United’s Dutch hitman.
Robertson said: “If you take any player out of any team who scored the number of goals Leigh did then you need the goals from elsewhere or a single player to replace that.
“Take any player out of any team at any level – look at Robin van Persie at Arsenal. He left the club and their top goalscorer last season scored 11 goals. At any level, if you lose a player who scores that many it is going to be difficult to replace them.” (Scotsman)
Willo Flood - I was no Celtic player
Aberdeen midfielder Willo Flood feels he wasted his time with a brief spell at Parkhead, and that he does not consider himself to have been a Celtic player.
Flood joined the Hoops from Dundee United in 2009, a move he described at the time as “a dream”. It soon turned sour for the Irishman, who sees his spell at Celtic as a waste.
Flood said: “I was never a Celtic player. I never played really so I didn’t consider myself a Celtic player if I’m being honest.
“Gordon Strachan really liked me as a player and I have a lot of respect for him as he made me a better player. But obviously when Tony Mowbray came in I wasn’t one of his signings and he had his own ideas.” (Scotsman)
Rangers to buy more players, says McCoist
Ally McCoist says he plans to keep up his Ibrox spending spree, in spite of the fact that Rangers have spent the full £22 million raised in an earlier share issue.
The Rangers manager said he would continue to bring in new faces to the side “until told otherwise”.
He said: “I’m no different from any other manager. If you have a budget to work with you are told you can’t do this but we’ll allow you to do that.
“Remember, we’re bringing in free transfers. We’re not spending money on signing targets because of the embargo but we believe we’re bringing in quality.” (Herald)