RANGERS won’t rule out a third bid for Scott Allan despite Hibernian’s ‘hands off’ stance, Real Madrid will wait until after August 9 before deciding whether or not to loan midfielder Martin Odegaard, and John Eustace is set to sign a two-year deal at Ibrox.
Mark Warburton coy on third bid for Scott Allan
Mark Warburton has refused to rule out a fresh attempt to prise Scott Allan from Hibs despite the Easter Road club’s firm declaration they will not sell the midfielder to Rangers.
Allan’s wish to join the club he supported as a boy during the current transfer window was rejected by Hibs earlier this week when they turned down his formal request for a transfer and insisted they will not sanction a move to their biggest rivals for the Championship title this season.
The 23-year-old remains on Rangers manager Warburton’s list of transfer targets, however, and it is understood a fresh bid will be tabled within the next few days. (The Scotsman)
Real Madrid to wait before Martin Odegaard decision
Real Madrid manager Rafa Benitez will not make any decision on the immediate future of Celtic target Martin Odegaard until his side have completed a friendly against Norwegian club Valerenga on August 9.
Benitez has been keeping a keen eye on the midfielder after bringing him on the club’s summer pre-season tour.
Should he decide to let Odegaard get first-team experience elsewhere, Celtic will be among the favourites to snap him up due to the player’s prior working relationship with Ronny Deila. (Inside Futbol)
John Eustace set to sign two-year Rangers deal
Rangers are set to offer 35-year-old midfielder John Eustace a two-year contract to join the club.
The former Watford and Derby County player has been training with Rangers for the past four weeks and has now fully recovered from a knee injury which had sidelined him since January.
“John has trained well and he had his most intense session yet on Tuesday,” said Warburton. “He joined the main group on Monday and it is great to see. John is a very talented player and a model professional off the pitch. He would be a great leader for us, along with the likes of Kenny Miller and Lee Wallace.” (The Scotsman)
Juwon Oshaniwa finally set to complete Hearts move
Hearts will today announce that they have finally got their man, with full-back Juwon Oshaniwa completing his medical yesterday and signing a three-year deal.
The Tynecastle club have had to be patient as the dealings became tangled up in bureaucracy but Hearts manager Robbie Neilson believes the wait for the highly-regarded 24-year-old Nigerian international will be vindicated when he eventually plays his way into the team.
Too soon to be thrown into the mix for tomorrow’s Premiership opener against St Johnstone, the defender, who was also on Celtic’s watchlist, will be assessed in training and could make the squad for next weekend’s trip to Dundee. (The Scotsman)
Owls reportedly interested in Celtic outcast Anthony Stokes
Sheffield Wednesday are reportedly interested in signing Celtic striker Anthony Stokes after the attacker was told he had no future at Parkhead.
Stokes, signed from Hibs for around £1 million in 2010, has scored 76 goals in 191 matches for Celtic, but has found himself down the pecking order thanks to the form of Leigh Griffiths and the arrival of Nadir Ciftci.
The Hoops have also been linked with Club Brugge striker Tom De Sutter, Den Haag forward Michiel Kramer and a host of other attackers, seemingly signalling that Stokes’ time in Glasgow is at an end. (Football League World/The Scotsman)
Nir Bitton struggling for Champions League clash
Celtic midfielder Nir Bitton is in a race against time to be fit for the crucial second leg match with Qarabag in the Champions League qualifiers this coming Wednesday.
The Israeli is struggling with an ankle injury suffered in the first leg that forced him to miss training on Friday.
Both player and club are said to be hopeful he’ll be ready to go in time. (The Sun)
Hibs move a ‘no brainer’ for John McGinn
John McGinn has revealed his move to Hibs had “sold itself” to him after the Scotland Under-21 midfielder agreed a four-year deal with the Edinburgh club.
McGinn found himself with a number of options after turning down the offer of a new contract with St Mirren, not just in Scotland and England, but also in the United States, where he spent a week on trial with Owen Coyle’s Houston Dynamo.
But he had no hesitation in deciding on Hibs after meeting boss Alan Stubbs and having a look round both Easter Road and the club’s East Mains training centre, putting pen to paper after a six-figure “development fee” was agreed with the Buddies. (Evening News)
Craig Gordon gunning for Scotland No 1 role
Having signed a new deal at Celtic, Craig Gordon has now set his sights on winning back the No 1 jersey with the Scotland national team.
Gordon was undoubtedly the favoured Scottish stopper prior to the injury hell which kept him out of the game for two years. Since returning from which he’s found himself behind David Marshall and, potentially, Allan McGregor in the pecking order.
But in trying to help Celtic get back to the Champions League group stages, Gordon hopes to catch the eye of national team boss Gordon Strachan.
He said: “I want to play at the highest level and play the best I can and, if that results in me getting the Scotland No.1 jersey, then that’s what I would like to try and do.” (Evening Times)
News in brief
• Celtic defender Dedryck Boyata has paid tribute to teammates Charlie Mulgrew and Efe Ambrose to helping him settle at Celtic Park. (Evening Times)
• Partick Thistle have held talks with Mathias Pogba, brother of Juventus and France star Paul. (STV)
• Pat Bonner has stated his suprise that Rangers didn’t make more of an effort to sign Craig Gordon when the current Celtic goalkeeper was training at Murray Park. (Daily Mail)
• Motherwell have signed 22-year-old Middlesbrough goalkeeper Connor Ripley on loan until January. (BBC)