Real Madrid set to loan out Martin Odegaard but Celtic look like missing out; John Guidetti blasts Ronny Deila for conflicting comments and Dave King reveals Rangers will overspend on players to get out of the Championship.
Celtic to miss out on Odegaard loan
REAL Madrid are reportedly happy to send Norwegian starlet Martin Odegaard out on loan next season - but to a Spanish club.
Celtic and Ronny Deila have been tentatively linked with a loan move for the 16-year-old playmaker since he joined Real from Stromsgodset.
But while new boss Rafa Benitez is said to be keen on loaning out Odegaard next season, he is likely to remain in Spain with Real Betis, Villarreal and Malaga all linked with the youngster. (AS)
Guidetti blasts Deila over comments
JOHN Guidetti has launched a scathing attack on Celtic boss Ronny Deila, claiming the Hoops manager said one thing to the striker and another to the Scottish media.
The Swedish forward claimed that Deila ‘said completely different things in the media’, adding that he had been dropped after refusing to agree to a permanent deal.
Guidetti said: “It [why I was dropped to the bench] was because I didn’t want to sign on.
“Deila said straight out that he would give priority to those players who wanted to be there. He said completely different things in the media than he said to me.
“If you are the top scorer and assist maker in terms of a number of matches and then still don’t get to play, then that is quite strange.”
The 22-year-old has been strongly linked with a return to the Netherlands with Feyenoord, but Turkish club Trabzonspor are also in the running for his signature. (Aftonbladet)
Berisha ‘flattered’ by Celtic link
NORWEGIAN striker Veton Berisha has admitted that it is ‘very flattering’ to be linked to the Scottish champions.
The 21-year-old Viking hitman, whose contract is up in the summer, has been linked with a move away from Norway, with Celtic among the clubs chasing him.
He said: “I don’t know anything about the Celtic interest, but it is of course very flattering.
“If the right offer comes along from an overseas club then I would consider it, but it all depends on which club is making the offer.”
Berisha has netted seven goals in 11 matches this season, and looks set to be allowed to leave by manager Kjell Jonevret. (Evening Times)
King to oversee Rangers squad reinvestment
DAVE King claims he will set no limit on the budget available to the club’s new manager, whom he expects to appoint early next week, but insists there will be an end to the squandering of resources of recent years.
“It might be semantics, but it’s not the case that the club has over-invested,” said King. “The club hasn’t invested – it just spent money.
“If you look at the last year, the club had the second biggest wage bill in Scotland by a mile – but look at the performance of the team. That was actually a lack of investment.
“We struggled to get through against Queen of the South and Hibs in the play-offs.
“I was at both Hibs games and we certainly weren’t the better team. In fact, we were fortunate to get through against Hibs. You wouldn’t have expected us to be struggling for the level of wages we were paying.” (The Scotsman)
King targets 45,000 season tickets
RANGERS chairman Dave King believes he deserves the trust of the club’s long-suffering support as he targets the hugely ambitious sale of 45,000 season tickets at Ibrox for another year of second-tier football.
Launching the club’s renewal campaign, in which a 5 per cent increase in prices from the campaign just ended has been imposed, King expressed his hopes of raising as much as £13 million from 2015-16 season tickets.
King is hopeful Rangers supporters will back the new board he led into power at a general meeting of shareholders in March.
“We would have to move 45,000 season tickets to reach that target of £12m or £13m,” said King.
“I actually don’t know if that’s an attainable figure. It’s something we have to say to the fans, that this is what we would like them to do. We want them to show the support they showed three years ago in coming back to support the club.” (The Scotsman)
Big names leave Rangers
BILEL Mohsni, Lee McCulloch, Jon Daly, Kris Boyd, Stevie Smith, Seb Faure and Richard Foster are among the players who will not be offered new deals at Rangers as 11 players in total are set to exit Ibrox ahead of the new season.
Ian Black, Steve Simonsen, Lee Robinson and Kyle Hutton have also been freed by Rangers. (Daily Record)
Sunderland to use Fletcher as makeweight in van Dijk swoop
SUNDERLAND are hoping to use Scotland striker Steven Fletcher as a makeweight in a bid to prise Virgil van Dijk from Celtic.
Celtic have been linked with the former Hibs and Burnley striker and could be tempted to let van Dijk join his countryman Dick Advocaat at the Stadium of Light in return for Fletcher and cash. (Daily Star)
Fridjonsson set to depart Celtic
HOLMBERT Fridjonsson will likely exit Celtic this summer, his agent has said.
Magnus Agnar Magnusson has told Danish publication Tipsbladet that he expects the Icelandic striker to be sold but is still waiting for clarification from Celtic.
Fridjonsson joined Hoops team-mate Teemu Pukki in a season-long loan deal at Brondby, but has scored just once in 11 matches.
However, he is likely to remain in Denmark if Celtic let him leave, with clubs in the Super League and 1st Division keeping tabs on the 22-year-old. (Tipsbladet)
Santos Laguna chief keen on Celtic player swaps
SANTOS Laguna president Alejandro Irarragorri has told the club’s official website that he is keen on strengthening ties with Celtic.
Four years ago it was reported that the two clubs had agreed a partnership, with the possibility of player swaps in the future.
But Irarragorri feels more could be done to strengthen those links, telling the club’s website: “All this friendship, all this partnership, and we haven’t been able to play a game together in the USA.
“That is an objective we need to put our hands on to work with. Do more things sports-wise, in terms of players’ development. We brought in Marc Crosas who played there and ended up a champion with us.
“We are underestimating the power that both teams have together, so we need to commit to doing more in that direction.” (HITC)
Celtic target opts to join Palermo
CELTIC target Ahmad Benali has joined Palermo, the club has confirmed.
Benali, a 23-year-old defensive midfielder, had been linked with Celtic in January, but has signed a four-year deal with the Serie A outfit following a spell with Brescia.
The former Manchester City trainee, who spent time on loan at Rochdale, had been linked with Inter Milan as well as the Hoops. (palermocalcio.it)
Ten leave St Mirren as Murray begins clear-out
ST MIRREN have released ten players following their relegation from Scottish football’s top flight.
Gregg Wylde, Marian Kello, Victor Genev, Jeroen Tesselaar and Yoann Arquin have all been released while youth team players Mo Yaqub and Adam Brown have left along with loanees James Dayton and Emmanuel Sonupe.
New manager Ian Murray is to hold talks with out-of-contract trio Alan Gow, Steven Thompson and John McGinn.
The Paisley side would be due more than £250,000 if McGinn moves on while Kieran Sadlier and Thomas Reilly have been invited to pre-season training. (BBC)
NEWS IN BRIEF
• Bolton boss Neil Lennon is targeting a £150,000 swoop for Aberdeen defender Shay Logan
• Derek Adams has held talks with Plymouth Argyle over their managerial vacancy but faces competition from Steve Lomas and Andy Awford
• Ex-Dundee United defender Barry Douglas has helped Lech Poznan to their first Ekstraklasa title in five years
• Jim McAlister has insisted he would have forgiven Nadir Ciftci for biting him if the Dundee United striker had admitted his guilt ahead of the SFA probe
• Livingston boss Mark Burchill has revealed his attempts to strengthen his squad have been scuppered by the SFA-imposed signing embargo put in place as a result of Neil Rankine’s shareholding
• Jason Talbot has joined Dunfermline from Livingston
• Ex-Dundee ‘keeper Kyle Letheren is to hold talks with Blackpool over a potential move
• Hibs fans have expressed fears over the impact on the Easter Road pitch if the club agrees a ground share arrangement with Edinburgh Rugby