Leicester are eyeing up a move for Kris Commons; John Brown slams ‘overpaid’ Rangers stars; The SFA want to talk to Mike Ashley and more in Wednesday’s Rumour Mill
Leicester are eyeing up a move for Kris Commons
Leicester City are set to join the chase for Kris Commons.
But the Foxes will have to push their way in front of Bolton boss Neil Lennon, who is set to table a £350,000 bid in January.
Commons, 31, is no closer to agreeing a new deal at Celtic.
That has alerted newly-promoted sides Leicester and Crystal Palace, who are also interested in the playmaker.
Lennon has already confirmed his interest and he is keen to team up with Commons at the Macron Stadium.
Lennon has a close bond with the player. He took him to Celtic from Derby for £300,000 in 2011, and is confident he can fight off competition from English Premier League clubs.
Talks over a new Parkhead deal have stalled in recent weeks.
Chief executive Peter Lawwell said at last week’s AGM that the ball was in Commons’ court – but the player is adamant he is still waiting for the club to make a final offer.
Boss Ronny Deila has said he wants to keep him, but Commons hasn’t played as regularly under him as he did with Lennon. (Express)
John Brown slams ‘overpaid’ Rangers stars
Rangers icon John Brown has branded Ibrox stars Lee McCulloch, Kris boyd and Kenny Miller a disgrace. He reckons the trio are not justifying their wages. He said: “I have to be very critical of the players right now. I have a lot of time for many of them but for the standard of player there, they are vastly underachieving. I think it is a disgrace that guys like Kenny Miller, Kris Boyd and Lee McCulloch - international players - and the experience they have got have been putting in the type of performances they have been. It’s shocking.
“People can criticise Ally all they want but when you look at that standard of player and the money they are earning and the fact they are going on that park and not producing performances or even spirit, then you have to lay the blame at the players.
“The manager can pick the team but it is down to the players on the park to go and show a desire to win. But there has been a lack of real passion in that team and you have to look at them for that. The players need to get their fingers out.” (Sun)
The SFA want to talk to Mike Ashley
Stewart Regan wants to meet Mike Ashley face to face to discuss his plans for Rangers amid growing concern about the stricken club. The SFA chief executive admitted yesterday that the governing body are monitoring the current situation at Ibrox. “We’ve been in regular dialogue with Mike Ashley’s lawyers through MASH Holdings,” said Regan. “It’s still ongoing at the moment, we are still in dialogue. The next stage is to meet with Mike and his advisers and obviously get some clarification around some of the concerns we have got. We have a situation in our articles which prevents dual interests in football clubs. We gave Mike Ashley the ability to have up to 10 per cent shareholding in the club. As part of that, there was a commitment there would be no management or influence at Rangers football club. Clearly we want to have a better understanding of his position in that regard.” (Mail)
Tommy Gemmell recovering in hospital after collapse
Celtic legend Tommy Gemmell was recovering in hospital last night after he collapsed at his home.The frail Lisbon Lion, 71, was found unconscious by paramedics at the flat in Dunblane. A close friend said: “He was out cold - they had to force open the door to get to him. He took a fall but he is Ok. It’s not life threatening.” Doctors have kept him in hospital for observation over the next few days. (Sun)
Thieves target Ex Celtic star Victor Wanyama
Former Celtic ace Vicotr Wanyama’s home was burgled while he was on away duty for Southampton. Wanyama returned from the game against Aston Villa in the early hours to find raiders had stoled jewellery, designer clothes, electronic devices , three TVs and his £60,000 car. A police Spokeswoman said: “Officers are investigating a burglary at a house in Winchester.” (Sun)
Hearts could be forced to leave Tynecastle says Anne Budge
Finances could eventually force Hearts to move from Tynecastle Stadium, owner Ann Budge has admitted.
The Edinburgh businesswoman has been speaking in depth for the first time since her summer takeover.
Budge explained that one of her priorities was to patch up parts of the stadium in a state of disrepair.
“But we’ve got to be realistic and it might be that it’s a more cost-effective solution to actually move,” she told BBC Scotland.
“Tynecastle does have something magical about it. If there was some way we could actually do something with the stand, it might be that that would be the better option and I know a lot of people would prefer to stay in Tynecastle. But, right now, I have no idea what the answer is and I think I would hope that, by the end of my time here, at the very least, we will have a plan that’s been properly evaluated through and try to choose the right one for the club.” (BBC)
Kris Boyd admits he should have been red-carded
Rangers striker Kris Boyd admits he should have been red-carded for his Tynecastle horror tackle at the weekend. The striker was only booked by Craig Thomson for his high studs challenge on Hearts’ Brad McKay. Boyd said: “It is not like me. It has happened and I was lucky to stay on the field. But we move on.” He added that Rangers need to rally and get behind Ally McCoist: “It is a difficult moment for us and it is time to regroup and for everybody to stick together - we know if we do that we can get ourselves out of this.” (Record)
John Collins not interested in SFA role
Since Mark Wotte stepped down last month from his post, Ronny Deila’s right-hand man had been touted as a potential successor to the Dutchman.
Even Wotte himself backed the former Scotland international as a prime candidate to take over the role at Hampden, while Hoops manager Deila having previously issued a hands-off plea to Hampden bosses.
However, while Collins is grateful for being mentioned by the man he worked under at the SFA as a youth coach last year, he insists his place is at Celtic.
“It’s nice of Mark Wotte to say that but I’m the Celtic assistant manager,” he said. “I’m very, very happy here and it wouldn’t interest me at this stage.
“There’s no-one that springs to mind for me right now, but I’m sure they’ll be scouring the country and Europe. It has to be a football person, 100% without a doubt.” (Times)
Meanwhile, Collins is hopeful Celtic fans will pack out Paradise on Thursday night to help the Scottish champions put FC Salzburg to the sword and seal a spot in the UEFA Europa League last 32.
A win for the Hoops over the Austrian champions would confirm their place in the knockout phase, regardless of results elsewhere in the group. “We would love to see that,” he said. “When the stadium is full there is no stadium like it in Europe. It’s up to us to keep winning matches, getting the crowds back and entertaining as that’s the only way the crowds will keep flooding to the games.
“Hopefully there will be a good crowd on Thursday night as we need the big crowd. It makes such a difference to the players when the stadium is noisy. It pushes the players forward, there is no doubt about that.
“The games have been tough and it’s been a good experience for the players. We want to go as far as we possibly can and as we go on in the tournament, I’m sure the fans will be coming along in their droves to Celtic Park.
“If we can qualify then you have the big boys dropping in from the Champions League, it’s an exciting tournament.” (Various)
Hartley eager to extend Clarkson’s stay
Dundee are attempting to secure in-form striker David Clarkson on a long-term deal at Dens Park.
Former Scotland ace Clarkson has been a big success since signing for Dundee in September and his strike in their 2-1 Premiership defeat away to Celtic at the weekend was his seventh in as many games. The 29-year-old is signed with Paul Hartley’s men until the end of the season but the Dens manager has revealed he has already started the process of trying to extend his stay at the Tayside club after a blistering start to life back in the Scottish top flight.
Hartley said: “We’re talking to the owners just now. It’s something we want to try and do, that’s for sure. We’ve got David until the end of the season but I want to try and keep him longer because he’s been absolutely terrific so far. We were fortunate enough that we were able to get him. I still think there’s much more to come from him. His work-rate, experience and overall he’s been first class. I always knew how good a player he was and he just needed to top up his fitness.” (Scotsman)
Derek McInnes: Time for Aberdeen to thrive
Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes has urged the club to capitalise on becoming debt free for the first time in more than 20 years.
The club has cleared £14.49million of debt thanks to an agreement with the bank, major shareholders Stewart Milne Group and Aberdeen Asset Management, and an investment from Dons supporters Willie Donald and his wife Elaine.
As a result of the restructuring of debt, which will be subject to shareholder approval at the annual meeting on December 15, the club is in its strongest financial position for decades and McInnes wants the Dons to strengthen the club’s place in Scottish football.
He said: “As a club clearing the debt has given us opportunity and a chance to push on.
“On the football side we are trying to be better and hopefully we can maximise the opportunity the investment now gives us.
“Everyone is keen on and sees the importance of having a new training facility. It’s the same with the stadium, everyone can see the benefits it would bring, but I’m not the first manager to sit here and say that, and it is up to other people at the club to make it happen.” (Press & Journal)
Kirk Broadfoot reckons Ally McCoist should have statue in his honour
Former Rangers defender Kirk Broadfoot reckons Ibrox manager Ally McCoist should not be receiving flak, and in fact should have a statue built in his honour. (Star)
News in brief:
• Jack Wilshere could be out for up to 12 weeks. (Mirror)
• Hull are planning a bid for Tottenham’s Aaron Lennon. (Mirror)
• Emile Heskey has issued a come and get me plea to Leceister. (Mirror)
• Culture secretary Sajid Javid has warned FIFA president Sepp Blatter that failure to publish the Garcia report into the World Cup corruption will damage ‘the reputation of football as a whole.’ (Mail)
• Legia Warsaw’s Ondrej Duda hopes his team avoid Celtic in the Europa League knockout phase should the Scots also qualify, after the Poles were controversially kicked out of the Champions League qualifiers despite beating the Glasgow outfit. (Various)