CELTIC will make a move for Sunderland striker Steven Fletcher, Dick Advocaat wants to make Virgil van Dijk his first signing after being made permanent boss of the Black Cats, and Celtic and Hearts are set to battle over Nigerian defender Juwon Oshaniwa.
Celtic could make £2m swoop for Steven Fletcher
Celtic are poised to make an offer to bring Scottish international striker Steven Fletcher to the club.
The Sunderland hitman has only one year left on his current deal, and at the age of 28 there’s a good chance Celtic could snap him up on a cut-priced deal believed to be in the region of £2m.
Two obstacles stand in Celtic’s way: one is the player’s wages, believed to be £50,000 a week, and the other is the news that Dick Advocaat will remain Sunderland manager. The Dutchman is an apparent admirer of Fletcher and an increased role in the English Premier League side could convince the attacker to stay. (Daily Record)
Advocaat targets Virgil van Dijk for Sunderland
Former Rangers manager Dick Advocaat wants to make Celtic centre half Virgil van Dijk his first signing for Sunderland after confirming yesterday that he will take on the manager’s job with the Black Cats on a permanent basis.
Advocaat will be given £50m to spend in the summer to try and improve Sunderland’s fortunes after the north east side narrowly avoided relegation from the English Premier League last season.
The Dutchman would like to spend £8m of his budget on his fellow countryman van Dijk, who was also wanted by former Sunderland boss Gus Poyet in January.(Daily Record)
Hibs tell Rangers: ‘Hands off Scott Allan’
Hibernian’s head of football operations, George Craig, has stated there is no chance of the club selling star midfielder Scott Allan to Rangers,
Regardless of who is manager at Ibrox next season, Allan remains a top transfer target for the Ibrox club.
However, Craig was insisted Hibs want to do all they can to win next season’s Scottish Championship title, and planning such an ambition does not include selling their best player to their biggest challenger. (The Scotsman)
Celtic in potential Jonathas for Scepovic swap deal
Elche want to bring Celtic striker Stefan Scepovic back to Spain after the player endured a miserable debut season at Parkhead.
Ronny Deila has stated his intention to try and improve the striker, rather than selling him off, however he could be swayed into a deal if Elche are happy to part with their Brazilian striker Jonathas.
A potential stumbling block could be the player’s parent club Pescara, who would have to release the player in order for any deal to go through. (HITC)
Celtic and Hearts battle for defender Juwon Oshaniwa
Nigeria defender Juwon Oshaniwa has revealed both Celtic and Hearts are interested in signing him, along with English Championship club Sheffield Wednesday.
The 24-year old international currently plays for FC Ashdod in Israel, but is seeking a new football challenge this summer.
“My club president confirmed the official proposal from Hearts and let me know that talks are still on to seal the deal alongside my agent Ladi Salami in the UK,” he said.
“And more so, my agent confirmed interest of Celtic and from Sheffield Wednesday.” (Sky Sports)
Irish FA: Fifa paid for Henry handball
John Delaney has confirmed the Football Association of Ireland was paid millions of euros by Fifa to not contest Thierry Henry’s infamous World Cup handball through the courts.
Henry handled the ball in setting up William Gallas’ extra-time goal which ultimately sent France through to the 2010 finals in South Africa ahead of the Republic of Ireland.
Chief executive Delaney has revealed he made his feelings known in a no-holds-barred exchange with Fifa president Sepp Blatter - who announced this week he will step down - and the outcome was a financial agreement between the two parties. (The Scotsman)
Hearts in talks with ex-St Mirren midfielder
Hearts are reportedly trying to do a deal that would bring former St Mirren midfielder Conor Newton back to Scotland.
The player is currently at Rotherham but has been placed on the transfer list following a subpar 2014/15 campaign.
Newton actually scored against Hearts when he netted St Mirren’s third in the Paisley club’s 2013 League Cup Final triumph. (Daily Record)
Aberdeen set to miss out on Marley Watkins
Inverness attacker Marley Watkins is set to snub his current club and Aberdeen in favour of joining English League One side Barnsley.
Watkins enjoyed a break-out year last season, going from squad player to first-team regular and scoring Caley Thistle’s first in the Scottish Cup Final.
Derek McInnes hoped to persuade the forward to join the Dons as they look to mount another title challenge to Celtic next season, but the player is set to return south of the border. (Press and Journal)
Aleksandar Tonev to return home to Bulgaria
Celtic’s loan player Aleksandar Tonev looks like he’ll return home to Bulgaria in order to sign for champions Ludogorets.
The midfielder performed poorly during his spell at Celtic Park and was found guilty for racially abusing Aberdeen defender Shaleum Logan.
He could feature in next season’s Champions League if current club Aston Villa allow him to leave. The Bulgarian side made it to the group stages last season where they faced off against Liverpool and Real Madrid. (The Sun)
News in brief
• Scotland manager Gordon Strachan expressed his growing confidence in the quality of his squad ahead of next week’s pivotal Euro 2016 qualifier against Republic of Ireland. (The Scotsman)
• Former Celtic misfit Daryl Murphy is wanted by Cardiff City after netting 27 goals for Ipswich in last season’s English Championship. (Wales Online)
• Dundee United are weighing up a move for Queen of the South defender Mark Durnan. (Evening Telegraph)
• Gavin Skelton has been named as assistant to James Fowler at Queen of the South. (Daily Record)