Scotland midfielder Robert Snodgrass emerges as Celtic target; Rangers insist second administration event will not happen; loss of Billy Brown huge blow for Hearts, says Gary Locke, plus the rest of today’s football news and gossip
Celtic target Norwich midfielder Robert Snodgrass
Norwich midfielder Robert Snodgrass is being targeted for a January swoop by Celtic. The Scotland international was watched by manager Neil Lennon on Tuesday in an FA Cup tie against Fulham.
Though Celtic are yet to make their interest for the 26-year-old formal, they are understood to be keen on putting together a deal.
Their chances of success are increased by the fact that Snodgrass is a boyhood Celtic fan, although they face competition for his signature from clubs in England with a higher spending capacity and larger wage structure. (The Sun)
Rangers: ‘No chance’ of administration II
Rangers manager Ally McCoist has said that the club will not go into administration this year, but did admit that the club are in considerable financial trouble. McCoist faces the threat of losing his biggest earners in the January and summer transfer windows as the club undergoes a period of financial restraint headed by chief executive by Graham Wallace.
“We have all accepted that again there are going to be extremely tough times ahead,” said McCoist. “If anyone needed to be convinced about that, then recent events would indicate it is going to be the case.
“But it feels different from two years ago for one major reason. I have been given a categoric assurance that there will not be a chance of administration this time. That’s obviously the biggest difference and one we would all be looking for here.”
McCoist also backed his players’ decision to reject a 15 per cent pay cut on Thursday. He said: “I’ve mnothing but tremendous pride in the players. My loyalty is to the players, the fans and the football club and i Stand by what decision the players would make.”
Hearts: Billy Brown loss a huge blow - Gary Locke
Hearts manager Gary Locke has admitted the loss of assistant manager Billy Brown, whose contract will not be renewed when it ends later this month, is a huge blow to his side. Brown will sit alongside Locke for his last game at McDiarmid Park today as they face St Johnstone.
“It makes my job more difficult, yes,” Locke said bluntly, yesterday. “I can lean on [goalkeeper coach] Alan Combe and [Under 20 coach] Robbie Neilson, obviously. But it’s a huge blow.
“It’s a decision that I obviously wasn’t overly enamoured with,” he added. “But I understand the situation the club is in, as well. So we have to move on.” (Scotsman)
Celtic’s Kris Commons keen on new contract
Kris Commons is seeking a new three-year contract from Celtic as he looks to continue the peak period of his career with the Scottish champions.
The 30-year-old attacking midfielder’s current deal expires at the end of this season, although Celtic manager Neil Lennon has already indicated the club will take up the option of a one-year extension which was written into the original agreement when Commons joined them in January 2011.
“I only saw it in the papers that they were going to take up the option,” said Commons. “I haven’t heard anything yet. I’m still looking for this three-year deal. Is that floating around anywhere?
“It’s important for me just to keep playing, keep scoring, stay in the manager’s eye and see where it takes us.” (Scotsman)
Celtic to pay cost of Amsterdam police complaints
CELTIC have offered to pay the legal costs of fans’ complaints against the Amsterdam police over the trouble that erupted around their Champions League defeat to Ajax.
Celtic said they had been “inundated” with complaints over the alleged conduct of police during disturbances in Dam Square and engaged Dutch lawyer Jeroen Soeteman to investigate. He will be in Glasgow on January 29 and 30 to meet fans and discuss the process.
A club statement added: “The club is happy to confirm that if, following those meetings, complaints to the Chief of Police are progressed by Mr Soeteman, the cost of the complaints process will be covered by the club.” (Scotsman)
Stefan Johansen has great mentality, says Fjortoft
New Celtic signing Stefan Johansen has what it takes to become a top player for the club, according to former Norway international Jan Age Fjortoft. Fjortoft’s assessment of Johansen is based on an international between Sweden and Norway last August where the Parkhead recruit made his debut.
A mistake in the second minute by Johansen allowed Norway to score, but Fjortoft said the midfielder’s reaction highlighted his winning mentality.
“The way he shrugged it off told me a lot about him and I think the Celtic supporters will see that. He’s not a guy who hides in a game. He believes in himself and I think that will stand him in good stead in Scottish football.” (The Sun)
• Celtic are set to be the first club in Britain to introduce standing areas at matches. It is understood that Glasgow City Council have backed chief executive Peter Lawwell’s campaign to introduce safe standing areas at Parkhead. (The Sun)
• Hibernian and Aberdeen are bidding to sign Oldham striker Adam Rooney. The 25-year-old, formerly of Inverness, has only been at Oldham for six months, but has fallen out of favour at the club and could be allowed to move on. The Irish striker scored 44 goals in three seasons at Inverness before moving to Birmingham City in 2011. (Daily Record)