Rumour Mill: Martin Odegaard and Celtic | Rangers

Martin Odegaard is a target for a number of Europe's top clubs. Picture: Getty

Martin Odegaard is a target for a number of Europe's top clubs. Picture: Getty

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Stefan Johansen urges Martin Odegaard to join Celtic; Rangers cancel Christmas at Ibrox; Dundee United deny Australian take over plan and more in Thursday’s Rumour Mill

Rangers cancel Christmas at Ibrox

RANGERS staff have been told Christmas has been cancelled as the financially stricken club continues to slash costs across the business.

The crisis engulfing the club became evident when non-executive director Derek Llambias sent a circular to all non-football employees to reveal they will not be receiving their traditional seasonal gift from the club and that the yearly festive bash at Ibrox had been scrapped.

Last year all workers received a voucher worth £50 for Marks and Spencer as well as a free Christmas party on the company in one of the stadium’s corporate suites.

A source told the Daily Record: “The Christmas party has been cancelled, it just shows what a mess this club is now in.”

A second source added: “If just one job can be saved by pulling the plug on a Christmas party so be it.” (Record)

Johansen urges Martin Odegaard to join Celtic

Celtic midfielder Stefan Johansen has urged his compatriot Martin Odegaard to snub the advances of a host of European football’s elite clubs and join him at the Scottish champions.

Norwegian prodigy Odegaard, already a full international at the age of 15, is currently weighing up a list of suitors including Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Liverpool.

“I’ve talked a lot with Martin,” said Johansen. “We keep in touch and speak on the phone a lot. I’ve told him that Celtic can be a good choice for him.

“The way we play would suit him. We have the ball a lot and that’s what Martin likes. He wants to be on the ball and creating chances. Every team needs a player like that.

“He also knows the gaffer at Celtic but it’s difficult when so many clubs want you. What can I say? He’s a patient boy and is very mature in the way he thinks.

“His father helps him a lot and I think the right thing for him is to take the best step for his career.” (Scotsman)

Dundee United deny Aussie take over plan

Scottish club Dundee United have dismissed media reports linking them to the takeover of struggling A-League outfit, Newcastle Jets.

However, the club confirmed an interest in the Australian league’s progress and the promising pool of local talent.

An official statement on United’s website said: “We have been made aware of reports circulating in Australia regarding a potential purchase of Newcastle Jets.”

Adding: “This board’s view is that football is a global market place and as part of our aim to develop Dundee United Football Club we are continually seeking opportunities to improve on and off field.

“Mr Thompson’s visit to Australia provided a worthwhile insight into a league that is progressing rapidly, whose clubs are part of a growing market in world football and is home to a number of very promising young players. (FourFourTwo.com)

Zagreb’s on-loan Man Utd striker excited by Celtic clash

Manchester United striker Angelo Henriquez is excited at the prospect of facing Celtic tonight.

The 20-year-old will turn out for Dinamo Zagreb against the Scottish giants in the Europa League Group D clash at Stadion Maksimir.

The Chilean said: “We are playing a giant of European football in Celtic and it would mean a great deal to beat them. Recently, we have been in good form in the league and we want to show people we can do it in Europe too.” (HITC.com)

Deila believes Stokes will stay at Celtic

Celtic manager Ronny Deila was informed before he left Glasgow for Croatia that Anthony Stokes has been linked with Cardiff City but he “expects” the Irishman to stay at Parkhead.

He said: “I heard it this morning. It is speculation again. I want everyone to stay. We have a good squad and Anthony has played well in the last weeks.

“I think he enjoys playing here. I expect him to stay.” (IrishTimes)

Bolton keen to extend Lennon contract

Bolton are looking to extend Neil Lennon’s contract in a bid to stop Leicester trying to steal him. Lennon has been installed as favourite to replace Nigel Pearson should he be axed. (Record)

Terry Butcher out of running for Motherwell job

Terry Butcher has ruled himself out of the running to become the new Motherwell manager.

Butcher, who has managed Motherwell before, was interviewed for the job along with five others which became vacant following the resignation of Stuart McCall last month.

Its understood that Butcher was unhappy with the way the selection process was handled. (Various)

News in brief:

The SFA have agreed to extend the transfer window to February 2nd. (Record)

Paul Hartley has already started his search for new players for when the January transfer window opens. (Record)

Former Celtic and Hibernian man Richie Towell is a target for Blackpool. (Record)

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