Rumour Mill: Rangers | Murray | Celtic | Russell

Gary Hooper: Kissing goodbye to Scottish football? Picture: SNS
Gary Hooper: Kissing goodbye to Scottish football? Picture: SNS
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Celtic are on the chase for a striker to replace the potentially departing Gary Hooper, with Dundee United’s Johnny Russell and Portugese forward Amido Balde at the top of their shopping list. Meanwhile, the Rangers board battle continues as another attempt is set to be made to oust Malcolm Murray

Celtic lead chase for Johnny Russell

Departing Dundee United striker Johnny Russell is a target for Celtic, according to reports. Russell, already attracting interest from Serie A side Catania and Championship outfit Derby County, was subject to a January bid by Lennon in January. Dundee United turned down their £500,000 offer, but with the possible departure of Gary Hooper on the horizon, Lennon is expected to intensify his pursuit of the 23-year-old. (Daily Record)

Hull target Celtic’s Gary Hooper

Celtic will be tested with a £4 million bid from Premiership outfit Hull City for striker Gary Hooper. With only one year left on his contract, Celtic are mulling over selling the Englishman. but the Tigers may need to stump up more to get the deal done - Norwich City had a bid of £6 million knocked back in January. (The Sun)

Portugese striker Amido Balde on Celtic radar

Amido Balde is another striker linked to act as a potential replacement for Gary Hooper. The Portugese striker, who Celtic could capture for around £2.5 million, starred in Vitoria Guimaraes’ surprise Portugese Cup final win against Benfica on Sunday. Balde has one year left on his contract after leaving Sporting Lisbon last summer. Newcastle and Sevilla are also thought to be in the queue for the striker’s signature. Meanwhile, Celtic target Aleksander Tonev will make a decision on a move to Celtic within the next 24 hours as he mulls over offers from Werder Bremen and Malaga. (Daily Mail, Daily Record)

Fergus McCann bailed out Celtic out of pride

Former Celtic owner Fergus McCann has revealed that he pulled the club back from the brink of liquidation out of a sense of pride. Reforming Celtic as a PLC after Celtic went £5 million in the red in 1994, McCann oversaw one of the most successful financial rescue missions seen in Scottish football. In an interview with The Sun, McCann said: “It would’ve cost less, and left the previous owners with nothing, to go into liquidation.

“But it would also be humiliating for Celtic. So we paid all the bills.”

He added: “Celtic means the same to me as it does to other fans. I identify with the club and wish to be proud of it.” (The Sun)

Rangers board to attempt to out Malcolm Murray again

Another attempt to overthrow Rangers chairman Malcolm Murray will take place as the board hold an end-of-season meeting, with Murray’s position at the top of the agenda. Murray, who has already lost a vote of confidence vote, is expected to be thrown out along with director Philip Cartmell. Non-executive Walter Smith may follow them if such a scenario plays out.

Charles Green is also expected to play a key part in the boardroom tussle, and remains a member of the board until Friday. (Daily Record)

• Rangers target Arnold Peralta claims he is close to becoming the club’s fifth signing. The Honduran international, a free agent after quitting Deportivo Vida, has expressed a desire to go to Scotland despite interest from the MLS.