CELTIC step up interest in Kaiserslautern ace Alexander Ring; Rangers agree to open their books after fan pressure and Hibs look forward to life under Leeann Dempster as Eddie May tipped to join club
Celtic have had eye on Ring for a year
CELTIC have reportedly been on the trail of Kaiserslautern’s Finnish star Alexander Ring for a year, according to the player’s agent.
Midfielder Ring, who Lennon watched on Monday night as the German side played out a 1-1 draw with Union Berlin, has made 23 appearances for the Finnish national side, and only joined Kaiserslautern last year from hometown club HJK.
Ring’s agent Tuomas Talvitie revealed he’s been aware of Celtic’s interest since last summer, but added: “We are a long way from reaching a conclusion.”
The midfielder is understood to be keen on linking up with international team mate Teemu Pukki at Celtic Park, with the prospect of Champions League football a big draw as well.
Lennon will continue to monitor the situation as he seeks to bolster his Celtic squad. The Hoops boss is also in the market for reinforcements up front with the imminent departure of Georgios Samaras but is also on the lookout for a a central defender, left back cover for Emilio Izaguirre and an attacking midfielder. (The Sun)
Lustig eager for Old Firm clash return
HOOPS defender Mikael Lustig admitted yesterday that he can’t wait for the Old Firm match to return. The Swedish defender, who also indicated his desire to commit his future to Celtic, said: “I have never played in an Old Firm game. That’s unusual for a Celtic player but I hope to get the chance.
“I enjoy it here. Celtic is a really big club and it doesn’t matter if I’m playing in the league or a cup, it is a big honour to wear the jersey.”
Lustig added that he was hopeful Neil Lennon could retain the core of his squad, saying: “It is really important to keep the main squad and I think we’re going to have a really good season next year.
“Players are going to leave. It is always going to be like that, especially if you are doing well.”
And the Sweden defender urged a UEFA rethink on Champions League rules after it emerged Celtic will have to play six qualifying matches the reach the competition’s group stages again. (Various)
Snodgrass flattered by Celtic link but focused on Canaries
NORWICH City midfielder Robert Snodgrass has admitted that interest from Celtic is flattering, but he is solely focused on ensuring the Canaries’ survival in the English Premier League.
The Scotland international is out of contract at Carrow Road next summer, and has been linked with a move to boyhood club Celtic, but he insisted any decision would be made at the end of the season.
He said: “If things go according to plan and we stay in the Premier League I’ll have a year left and I’ll honour that every way I can.
“I feel a sense of duty to Norwich because they were the club who gave me my chance. But it’s testament to me that a club like Celtic are linked with me.” (Various)
Rangers open books after fan pressure
RANGERS have performed a dramatic U-turn in an attempt to avoid another police probe, it has emerged.
Shareholder Billy Paterson questioned the club’s refusal to allow him to inspect the contracts of existing and past directors. The 49-year-old made the request at Ibrox on Monday under Section 229 of the Companies Act 2006, amid concern at the financial state of Rangers.
He contacted police claiming the law had been broken when a club official refused his request to look at the contracts of key officials, including chief executive Graham Wallace and chairman David Somers.
And despite the staff member citing legal advice, Rangers have agreed to open the books after performing the U-turn.
Paterson will now have the chance to study contracts of current and past directors, including details of bonuses, salaries and benefits.
The shareholder added: “The Rangers board may think they’re above the law but they’re not. This was as brutal a breach of the Companies Act as you could get.
“I’ve been concerned at the actions of the board for several months and reports Mr Wallace could earn a 100 per cent bonus were the final straw. (Daily Record)
Hibs linked with Eddie May, Kane Hemmings and George Craig
FORMER Hibs midfielder Eddie May could be set for a return to the club as the Easter Road side gears up for a summer of change.
Leeann Dempster was unveiled yesterday as the club’s new chief executive, and will take up her new role from June 1st.
And May, who made over 100 appearances for Hibs, could return as the club’s Head of Youth, following success in charge of the University of Stirling and Rangers.
He could be joined by George Craig, Falkirk’s director of football, who is believed to be on Rod Petrie’s list of targets as he seeks to improve things at the club.
Petrie himself is stepping down from his role as acting Chief Executive but will continue as non-executive chairman.
The club have also been linked with ex-Rangers striker Kane Hemmings, who picked up the Scottish Championship Player of the Year award for a successful season at Cowdenbeath. Hemmings, who is also attracting interest from a number of other clubs, has scored 17 goals for the Blue Brazil. (The Sun/The Courier)
Thompson hits out over Cup Final tickets
DUNDEE United chairman Stephen Thompson has blasted the SFA for pricing families out of next month’s Scottish Cup final, claiming there could be 20,000 empty seats for the showdown at Celtic Park.
Thompson failed in an attempt to persuade Hampden chiefs to release more concession tickets for the match with St Johnstone, adding: “We asked the SFA for more concession tickets but they said no. As a result of that our ticket sales have slowed dramatically and I think you’ll be lucky to get 40,000 at the game.
“There could be 20,000 empty seats - do the SFA want that or would they prefer people go to the game?”
United were handed 16,000 briefs for the match at £28 for adults and £10 for kids, but sold them all in three hours on Monday.
And although Thompson contacted the SFA asking for the release of cheaper tickets, he was told it wasn’t possible. And the Tannadice chief bemoaned the decision, warning that Celtic Park could be up to a third empty.
He added: “Why can’t it be £35 and £15 for kids? Surely they want to encourage families to go to the game rather than have empty seats. There is a huge difference in in price between the concessions and the non-concession tickets.” (The Sun)
Mjallby denies AIK link
CELTIC assistant boss Johan Mjallby has denied he is set to take up a role at former club AIK, insisting: “I have absolutely not decided I will work in Sweden. Many believed the reason I was leaving was to return home, but it is not the truth.
“I have a few weeks to sort out what I want to do. I don’t have a job lined up.” (Daily Express)
News in brief
• Gary Locke has called for clarity on his future at Hearts after BDO were given the green light to finalise a share and purchase agreement for the club
• Ally McCoist has hit out at the ‘daft’ fans whose actions marred the Old Firm youth match at Parkhead on Monday night