Rumour Mill: Virgil van Dijk bid | Brad McKay slams Juanma

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SOUTHAMPTON have reportedly made a £8 million bid for Virgil van Dijk, former Hearts defender Brad McKay has labelled new Jambos striker Juanma a ‘typical foreigner’ for his play-acting, and Mark Warburton believes his Rangers side need to become more clinical in front of goal despite a comfortable 3-0 win over Peterhead.

Southampton make offer for Celtic’s Virgil van Dijk

Southampton have made a £8 million move for Celtic defender Virgil van Dijk.

The English Premier League side are managed by the Dutchman’s fellow countryman Ronald Koeman, who is said to be an admirer of the sublime centre back.

Manchester United and Arsenal are two clubs also credited with an interest. (The Scottish Sun/Daily Express)

Qarabag pitch ‘unplayable’ ahead of Celtic game

Southampton are chasing Virgil van Dijk. Picture: Gordon Fraser

Southampton are chasing Virgil van Dijk. Picture: Gordon Fraser

Celtic’s Champions League clash in Azerbaijan is under threat because of the state of Qarabag’s pitch, according to media in the country’s capital, Baku.

Celtic face a long journey to the former Soviet state protecting a one-goal lead in the second leg on Wednesday. But there are doubts whether Azerbaijan’s national ground – the Tofiq Bahramov Stadium, where Qarabag will play the game – is fit to host the tie.

Media in Baku report that more than 30 per cent of the surface is unplayable. (The Scotsman)

Mark Warburton wants more goal threat from Rangers

Rangers manager Mark Warburton has declared his team are well prepared for the start of their Championship title bid this week but believes they still need to sharpen up in front of goal if they are to fulfil their potential this season.

Warburton’s first competitive home fixture in the job saw Rangers defeat Peterhead 3-0 in the first round of the League Cup with goals from David Templeton, Kenny Miller and James Tavernier. But they missed a host of other chances against their League One opponents at Ibrox. (The Scotsman)

Juanma Delgado must cut out theatrics, says McKay

Former Hearts defender Brad McKay has criticised the theatrics of new Tynecastle hero Juanma after yesterday’s match.

The Spaniard scored the opening goal, after a slip from McKay, and played a part in the build-up to the second where Jamie Walker buried the rebound following Osman Sow’s penalty miss.

Juanma was rewarded for his efforts with one of the two Hearts match of the match awards, though he didn’t leave a positive impression on his young opponent.

McKay said: “He’s a typical foreigner. He gets touched and he goes down. He rolls about the place and holds the back of his head. I think he’ll have to cut all that out.” (The Scotsman)

Gordon should have saw red for challenge - Irvine

Ross County midfielder Jackson Irvine believes Craig Gordon should have saw red for his first half foul during Celtic’s 2-0 win on Saturday.

The Hoops stopper came charging out of his box to close down Irvine but could only foul the player as he attempted to go past him.

Match official Willie Collum decided it was not an obvious goalscoring opportunity and booked the keeper, a decision Irvine feels the referee got wrong.

He said: “It was a game-changing incident. I spoke to Craig after the game and he seemed relieved at the time. It was so early in the game and would have changed things had they lost a man at that point. (Press and Journal)

Partick Thistle close in on double signing

Partick Thistle are close to securing a deal for 20-year-old Sunderland striker Mikael Mandron.

The French striker has been with the club since 2011 but has only played a handful of games in his time at the Stadium of Light.

Having had loan spells with Fleetwood and Shrewsbury, the player is keen to get more first-team experience under his belt. (The Scottish Sun)

• Thistle are ready to complete a deal to sign Mathias Pogba, brother of Juventus superstar Paul.

The Firhill club have been in negotiations with the striker who has previously played for Wrexham, Crewe and, most recently, Crawley in the English lower leagues. (Evening Times)

John Hughes rules out new additions to ICT squad

John Hughes has ruled out adding more players to his Inverness CT squad, despite suffering a spate of injuries that now includes captain Gary Warren who’ll remain on the sidelines for months with a broken leg.

The Caley Thistle boss insists the club just don’t have the money available to strengthen any further after adding five new players this summer. (Sporting Life)

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