Rumour Mill: Celtic want Boyata | Marcello Jones | Hibs

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Celtic keen on Manchester City stopper Dedryck Boyata as Mitchell Dijks link resurfaces; AC Milan starlet Marcello Jones could pledge international future to Scotland and Hibs release just 1500 tickets for away support for the first leg of the play-off semi-final

Hoops keen on Boyata

Dedryck Boyata is a target for Celtic. Picture: Getty

Dedryck Boyata is a target for Celtic. Picture: Getty

CELTIC manager Ronny Deila last night confirmed his interest in signing Belgian defender Dedryck Boyata from Manchester City.

A delegation from the Scottish champions, including Deila, are understood to have held talks with Boyata and the English club earlier this week.

The 24-year-old would be a replacement for his compatriot Jason Denayer, who will return to Manchester City this summer after his successful season-long loan at Celtic.

“We will see what happens,” said Deila after his team’s 0-0 draw against St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park.

“We are looking at a lot of players to try and strengthen our squad and he (Boyata) is one of them. We will see if we can make it happen or not. (The Scotsman)

Celtic ‘offer lump sum’ to Dijks

CELTIC have reportedly offered a lump sum to Dutch defender Mitchell Dijks, according to De Telegraaf.

The Willem II defender is wanted by a number of top clubs, including AZ Alkmaar as well as the Hoops, with the latter having held preliminary talks with Dijks’ agent Dick van Burik over a potential move. (De Telegraaf)

Marcello Jones - future Scotland cap?

AC Milan starlet Marcello Jones - born in Cornwall and a Celtic fan - could end up playing for Scotland.

In an exclusive interview with the Daily Record, the youngster reveals his Scots grandparents could hand him a route into the Scotland squad in years to come.

And the 16-year-old would love a move to boyhood heroes Celtic.

He said: “Before I went to Milan I was at Lennoxtown for some sessions. I took part in a few Celtic soccer camps and the scout there, John Morgan, gave me an open invite to train with the pro youth teams when I was in Glasgow.

“But once the invite came to join Milan I couldn’t turn it down. It was a fantastic opportunity to join one of the best clubs in the world and immerse myself in a new culture and learn a language.

“I’m in talks with Milan about a new contract and I believe they’re keen. I should know my future in a few weeks. I’d love to go all the way with them but a move to Celtic would appeal.” (Daily Record)

Hibs slash play-off ticket allocation for away fans

HIBERNIAN have cut the ticket allocation for away fans for their play-off semi-final and will only make 1,500 tickets available to supporters of either Queen of the South or Rangers.

Hibs themselves will get just 950 tickets from Rangers should the Gers progress, whilst Queens would hand travelling Hibees around 2,900 tickets. (Various)

Keith Watson angling for Hibs deal

KEITH Watson has issued a “deal me in” plea to Hibs boss Alan Stubbs as he bids to turn his loan move from Dundee United into a permanent switch.

And the 25-year-old defender has his fingers crossed he can help persuade Stubbs by playing a starring role in taking the Easter Road outfit back into the Premiership.

“Obviously my contract situation is at the back of my mind, not sure what I am going to do next year but I just want to concentrate on what is happening here. It’s a big time for us, the team has worked hard all season and we want to finish well.

“I want to do well and hopefully help take Hibs back into the Premiership. This is a massive club and I was impressed when I joined in January with the facilities, the training ground, the fans and the standard of players in the squad.

I’d love to stay. We haven’t had any talks yet, I think they want to see what happens with the play-offs so I’ll just keep training an working hard and see what happens.” (Evening News)

McCall focused on play-offs, not manager job

STUART McCall insists Rangers are well within their rights to look at other options as they weigh up a decision on who to appoint as their long-term boss.

The former Ibrox midfielder was named interim manager at the beginning of March and charged with rescuing the club’s promotion bid.

But it was reported this week that Rangers had sounded out MK Dons manager Karl Robinson about the prospect of leading the side next season.

A source close to the highly-rated 34-year-old was quoted claiming Rangers were the “right club” at the “wrong time”.

But McCall has not given up hope of landing the job on a permanent basis himself. His hopes could hang on whether he can finish off Queen of the South tomorrow following last weekend’s 2-1 Scottish Championship play-off quarter-final first-leg victory. (The Scotsman)

Hibs legend Keith Wright ‘nearly joined Hearts’

KEITH Wright, who scored the goal that clinched Hibs the Skol Cup in 1991, has revealed he nearly joined rivals Hearts.

Wright was the subject of a £25,000 bid from Hearts during his time at Raith Rovers, but the Stark’s Park outfit wanted £35,000 and the deal was dead.

Wright told The Scotsman: “I wouldn’t have liked seeing Hibs get beat but I was a part-time player, working the rest of the week in an estate agent’s, who was desperate to make the step-up. Sometimes footballers can’t choose their clubs!”

Read the full interview here >>> (The Scotsman)

NEWS IN BRIEF

• Paul Heffernan, David Clarkson and Kyle Benedictus are all set to leave Dundee, following Iain Davidson and Jamie Reid out the Dens exit door. Ex-Rangers and Cowdenbeath striker Kane Hemmings has agreed a pre-contract deal

• AFC Bournemouth are keen on signing ex-Celtic goalie Artur Boruc on a permanent deal ahead of their maiden Premier League season

• Hull City midfielder Jake Livermore has tested positive for cocaine, and faces a six-month ban

• Inverness CT coach could take the pre-match warm-up in a ‘mankini’ - after vowing to do so if John Hughes secured European football for the Caley Jags

• Scots whistler John Beaton has received an apology from Salem Al Dawsari, the Al-Hilal midfielder who headbutted him during a tempestuous Riyadh derby with Al Nassr

• The Foundation of Hearts has taken a step closer to taking control of the club after it confirmed it has provided £1.4m of working capital - the second financial condition of the deal struck with Hearts owner Ann Budge last May

• Hamilton are to replace their artificial surface with a new synthetic pitch at the cost of £300,000