VIRGIL van Dijk wants to leave Celtic; Henrik Larsson subs himself on to score for Helsingborg; Gordon Strachan urged to keep the faith with Charlie Mulgrew, plus more news and gossip in Thursday’s Rumour Mill
Van Dijk seeks challenge in England
VIRGIL van Dijk has expressed a desire to leave Celtic in order to pursue the ‘next challenge’.
In an interview with Dutch magazine Voetbal International, the Hoops defender has expressed his disappointment at Celtic’s refusal to sell him to English Premier League when opportunities arose.
The 24-year-old said: “They must understand that, as a footballer, sometimes it’s time to make a move.
“I’m learning in Scotland every day, but I also know there is more. I want more. It’s time for the next challenge.”
A host of clubs, including Tottenham, Sunderland and Southampton have been linked with the Dutch stopper. (The Scotsman)
Celtic push on with Odegaard loan bid
CELTIC are set to pull out all the stops to secure Norwegian starlet Martin Odegaard on a season-long loan deal, despite three Spanish sides being linked with the 16-year-old.
Spanish daily newspaper AS are reporting that Ronny Deila is set to make an offer to Odegaard.
The Hoops are hopeful of tempting Odegaard to Glasgow with the promise of regular first-team action, Champions League football and working with a manager he knows and respects. (AS)
Larsson subs himself on to score
Helsingborgs manager Henrik Larsson proved he still had the skills after coming off the bench to score a last minute goal in a friendly against Malmo.
The 43-year-old former Celtic star and Swedish international subbed himself on after 66 minutes when his side were already up 6 - 1 to score their seventh goal.
Larsson’s son Jordan also plays for Helsingborgs, who sit seventh in the Allsvenskan.
He scored his first goal at senior level in the side’s last outing but may now face competition from his father for valuable minutes on the pitch.
Strachan told to keep Charlie Mulgrew
SCOTLAND boss Gordon Strachan was reportedly told to keep faith in Charlie Mulgrew at centre-half ahead of Scotland’s clash with the Republic of Ireland in Dublin on Saturday.
Strachan raised eyebrows when he selected Mulgrew for the friendly against Qatar after spending much of the season on the bench with a hamstring injury.
Strachan has also been advised to recall Darren Fletcher after a strong performance over the last four months for West Bromwich Albion.
Fletcher has been plagued with ill-health with his ulcerative colitis leaving him out of the game for long periods. He has not been selected for Scotland in over two and a half years. (Evening Times)
Hibs linked with Mark Russell
HIBERNIAN have been linked with Morton defender Mark Russell, as Alan Stubbs seeks to increase his options on the left for next season.
Russell, who has turned out over 50 times for Morton, was named in the League One team of the year for last season, but would command a fee as he is under contract at Cappielow until June 2016.
Liam Fontaine is also reportedly close to agreeing a new deal at Easter Road. (Various)
Irish duo linked to St Johnstone
As the training season begins in earnest next week, the Saints look set to acquire two new players.
The Perth side are reportedly being linked to Crusaders winger Paul Heatley and Cliftonville striker Joe Gormley.(Evening Telegraph)
NEWS IN BRIEF
• Hamilton have signed ex-Clyde goalkeeper Alan Martin
• Former Ross County boss Derek Adams has been appointed the new manager of Plymouth
• Teemu Pukki is to report back to Celtic for pre-season training, with no movement on a potential transfer to Brondby, where he has spent the last season on loan