New Celtic striker Stefan Scepovic insists the Hoops were his first choice; Kris Commons ponders Celtic future; Joachim Low claims Germany might struggle against Scotland while Hibs hitman Farid El Alagui to undergo surgery on ruptured Achilles.
Celtic were my first choice - Scepovic
STEFAN Scepovic has attempted to play down his rollercoaster transfer to Celtic, insisting Glasgow was always his preferred destination.
The 24-year-old was formally unveiled at Celtic Park yesterday after signing from Sporting Gijon for £2.2 million.
The deal had looked dead in the water after Celtic learnt of interest from Getafe, but Scepovic told the Scottish media last night that he had never said he didn’t want to come to Celtic.
“In football, you never know, there can always be some problems. But I don’t want to look at the past. I just want to look at the future with Celtic, that’s it. Monday was a tough day, but that’s football,” he said.
“Celtic going out of the Champions League last week did not change my thinking about coming here. We can still do a lot in the Europa League, it’s a good competition. Next year, we will maybe be in the Champions League.” (The Scotsman)
Commons holds talks on Celtic future
KRIS Commons has held positive initial talks with Celtic regarding a new contract, despite being dropped for the club’s Champions League play-off exit against Maribor.
Commons is keen that Celtic match his own ambitions, after scoring 32 goals last season from an attacking midfield position.
“My agent has been in this week, obviously just for brief discussions, not just about the length of the contract I’m going to sign but what’s going to be happening in the future for Celtic and where the board sees us in two or three years,” he told Peter and Roughie’s football show.
“Because, when you have had such a successful time at Celtic, you want to keep doing that. You don’t want to take backward steps.”
Speaking about new manager Ronny Deila, the former Scotland international added: “The new manager is obviously on a bit of a learning curve about what his best team is and the best formation is. It’s just one of those things that has changed at the minute.” (Evening Times)
Scotland the sort of team we struggle against - Germany boss
JOACHIM Low has given Scotland a boost ahead of their Euro Qualifier by claiming that the Scots are the kind of team the Germans struggle against.
He said: “With Scotland’s sheer commitment and their running – they are a team who never give up no matter what the score is.
“They are difficult opponents for us on Sunday. We’ve gone from being hunter to potential prey.” (Daily Record)
El Alagui to undergo Achilles op
HIBS striker Farid El Alagui is to undergo an operation on his ruptured Achilles today, with the club hoping to know the extent of his lay-off by the end of the day.
The French-born Moroccan striker had to come off in the first half of the 2-1 loss at Alloa, and was revealed to have ruptured his Achilles.
He tweeted: “I have to sadly announce that i have ruptured my Achilles. All my efforts are now focused on coming back as soon as possible this season!!”
Hibs head coach Alan Stubbs brought in Dylan McGeouch and Jake Sinclair from Celtic and Southampton respectively, and the pair have vowed to help Hibs climb the table.
Sinclair - younger brother of Manchester City winger Scott - told The Scotsman: “Because I’m small I can’t really hold the ball up that well, but I can run in behind – I’m quick and I can finish.”
And McGeouch added: “I’m feeling fit and I just want to kick on now and hopefully get games for Hibs – and get results and get the club back to where we belong.”
The club also confirmed Owain Tudur Jones had left the club by mutual consent. (The Scotsman)
Dundee still on hunt for players
PAUL Hartley is still looking to add players to his Dundee squad, and is thought to have his eye on a striker and defensive cover.
Kyle Benedictus has gone on loan to Alloa, leaving Hartley short at the back of cover, and he is reportedly keen on getting a player in to provide competition for Luka Tankulic, Craig Wighton and Peter MacDonald.
The former Hearts midfielder has brought in 13 new faces to Dens Park, and has been the busiest manager in Scotland. (Evening Telegraph)
News in brief
• A Hibs Under-20s team containing first-teamers Paul Hanlon, Callum Booth and new signing Jake Sinclair won 1-0 at Dunfermline last night, with Booth grabbing the only goal
• Teemu Pukki is hoping a season-long loan deal at Brondby can help rebuild his shattered confidence
• John Guidetti has pleaded with FIFA to give him the chance to be the new Henrik Larsson
• Former Dundee United left back Andrew Robertson has said that his rise to stardom should convince youngsters to stick in