Rumour Mill: Celtic | Rangers | Balde | Tonev

Besiktas are thought to have accepted a bid from Hull for goalkeeper Allan McGregor. Picture: SNS
Besiktas are thought to have accepted a bid from Hull for goalkeeper Allan McGregor. Picture: SNS
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Celtic target Amido Balde declares he has “more ability” than any striker at Celtic, while Rangers remain in crisis as fans groups threaten a backlash should Walter Smith be removed from the board

Amido Balde: I am better than any striker at Celtic

Portugese striker Amido Balde has hinted strongly that a move to Celtic would be his preferred choice as he mulls over offers from a variety of suitors. The Vitoria Guimaraes striker has one year left on his contract, and is likely to be moved on by the club for around £2.5 million.

The 22-year-old made clear his desire for Champions League football, and said that he would soon make Celtic fans forget about Gary Hooper.

He said: “I know Celtic have been in contact with my agent because they are going to lose their main striker - but I have more ability than any striker at Celtic.

“If a deal is reached where I end up playing for Celtic, the fans will be asking themselves after just a few games ‘Gary who?’

“I think I could go on and be the best striker in Scotland - and one of the best in Europe.” (Daily Record)

Celtic face battle for Aleksander Tonev signature

Aston Villa have joined the race to sign Aleksander Tonev. Lech Poznan have been offered £3.5 million for the Bulgarian winger, while German side Werder Bremen remain interested. Celtic would have to bid at least £3 million to land Tonev.

Lech Poznan president Jacek Rutkowski confirmed Celtic’s offer for the winger.

He said: “We got a very concrete offer for Tonev and negotiations are very advanced. But we will make a decision within a few weeks.”

Meanwhile, Lech Poznan are trying to make their second SPL capture by signing Motherwell’s Henrik Ojamaa. The Fir Park side have already knocked back two bids for the Estonian, but the Polish side are expected to continue their pursuit of the striker with a bid for around £350,000. (Daily Mail, The Sun)

Rangers boardroom lockdown as Gers fans threaten backlash

Rangers fans have reitirated their opposition to Charles Green’s return to the board as the Ibrox hierarchy continued its civil war yesterday.

Green is understood to have been present at yesterday’s meeting as another attempt was made to oust chairman Malcolm Murray from the board, along with director Philip Cartmell.

Should both be removed, it is thought Walter Smith would also leave - a scenario that would enrage Rangers fans.

The Rangers Supporters Trust and Rangers Supporters Association released a joint statement last night urging stability at the club, while the Union Bears said that they would back whoever Smith was supporting on the board, threatening a backlash if he was forcibly removed from the club. (Daily Express, Daily Record)

Hull City make £1m bid for Allan McGregor

Scotland goalkeeper Allan McGregor could be set for a move to the Premiership after Hull City launched a £1m bid to bring the former Rangers stopper to the KC Stadium. Steve Bruce’s offer has been accepted by Besiktas, but West Ham, Fulham and Fiorentina are monitoring the situation. Bruce also wants to bring Celtic’s Gary Hooper to the club, with the club understood to be preparing a £4 bid for the forward. (The Sun)

Jackie McNamara bans toast at Dundee United

Dundee United manager Jackie McNamara has stamped out toast from the players’ diet as he looks to change players’ attitudes to their diet and fitness regimes. Porridge and cereal has replaced toast on the club’s breakfast menu, while players will be told to train an extra ten hours a week.

Praising the moves, chairman Stephen Thompson said: “Jackie is changing the players’ lifestyles and that’s something which appeals to me.

“So instead of toast for their breakfast, it’s now porridge and Weetebix. These are the little things Jackie is looking at, bringing the club into line with other sports.” (The Sun)

IN BRIEF

• Derby are to offer £750,000 to prise Johnny Russell from Dundee United. The Tannadice outfit are holding out for £1 million, while Russell is also awaiting offers from Celtic, Huddersfield and Serie A side Catania.