In today’s Rumour Mill: Celtic eye Charlie Austin as Hooper replacement; Aberdeen ponder Adams move; Arsenal and Fulham step up Wanyama interest plus the rest of the day’s Scottish football news and gossip.
Burnley striker Charlie Austin tops Neil Lennon’s wanted list
Neil Lennon could be set to delve into the English leagues again as he tees up potential replacements for Gary Hooper, should Norwich get their man. Burnley’s Charlie Austin is the man on Lennon’s radar, having scored 36 goals in 69 games. The 23-year-old began in non-league football, following a similar route to Hooper by eventually working his way up the leagues.
Norwich failed in a bid to tempt Hooper south last week but Lennon is braced for an improved offer from the Canaries who lost 5-0 to Liverpool this weekend. Chris Hughton is also chasing Swansea striker Danny Graham, but Hooper’s double against Hearts on Saturday may have convinced Hughton to focus more on the former Scunthorpe striker, with a £7 million bid believed to be on the cards.
Celtic are reportedly tracking Japanese striker Yuji Ono, but may face competition from Belgian cracks Standard Liege. The Belgian side are said to have agreed a £1.2 million deal with Yokohama Marinos but Ono’s preferred destination is Glasgow, where he would follow in the steps of fellow Japanese star Shunsuke Nakamura.
Aberdeen ponder move for Adams as board consider Craig Brown’s future
Derek Adams has emerged as a possible replacement for Craig Brown as the Aberdeen board consider Craig Brown’s future. A disappointing 3-0 loss to Inverness CT this weekend left the Dons in fifth, although they are just six points off second. However, the Pittodrie side’s cup clash away to Hibs is looking more and more important by the day. George Yule stunned Brown by demanding at least a top three finish this season, and Adams’ performance with Ross County on a small budget has caught Aberdeen’s eye.
Aberdeen’s form has been mixed this season, with a ten-game unbeaten run at one point - but Derek Adams, a former Dons player, has been lauded for his work with the Staggies, winning two titles and taking them to a Scottish Cup final, beating Celtic on the way.
Brown is 72 years old now, and Aberdeen might decide not to renew his contract when it expires, in which case the Dons could move for Adams.
Arsenal and Fulham step up interest in Victor Wanyama
Scouts from Arsenal and Fulham could be seen at Celtic games in the coming weeks as both English Premier League sides look to bolster their squads for the second half of the season.
The Gunners have failed to make the impact many predicted, whilst Fulham will be looking to cement their position in the EPL. Arsenal have been linked with Wanyama before, but following a run of poor results, Arsene Wenger could move for the Kenyan to strengthen his midfield.
Celtic remain hopeful that Wanyama will stay at Parkhead, with the lure of Champions League knockout football to keep him in Glasgow.
However, Lennon’s comments yesterday about every player having their price may prove decisive, if one of Wanyama’s suitors stumps up. The Celtic manager has valued Wanyama at £25 million in the past, jokingly or otherwise, but has hinted that the 21-year-old is good enough to play at the top level down south.
Scottish football news in brief
• Nottingham Forest have confirmed that they contacted former SFA chief Gordon Smith about their vacant managerial post.
• Livingston chief Gordon McDougall has expressed his reservations about the proposed league reconstruction plans, admitting he wasn’t comfortable with the controversial blueprints.
• Michael Johnston has played down talks of a cash crisis at Rugby Park. The Kilmarnock chairman held talks with the players prior to their match on Saturday with Dundee United.