Rumour Mill: Celtic target Anya | Warburton for Gers boss

Scotland's Ikechi Anya arrives at Glasgow Airport. Picture: SNS Group
Scotland's Ikechi Anya arrives at Glasgow Airport. Picture: SNS Group
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CELTIC step up efforts to sign Ikechi Anya; Mark Warburton favourite for Rangers manager; Paddy Power unveils taunting billboard in Dublin, plus more news and gossip in Saturday’s Rumour Mill

Celtic step up interest in Anya

CELTIC are reportedly stepping up their interest in Watford winger Ikechi Anya after failing to sign him last season.

Celtic boss Ronny Deila wants to strengthen his attacking forwards next season following the departure of Aleksandar Tonev and Mubarak Wakaso.

It is understood that Watford could be willing to do a deal for the 27-year-old, who still has a year on his contract with the Vicarage Road outfit. (Daily Express)

Mark Warburton on the brink

Mark Warburton could be the next Rangers boss in as little as 48 hours, according to reports.

Gers chairman Dave King’s shortlist of five candidates has reportedly been whittled down to just two.

The final decision is expected to be made over the weekend with a formal announcement on Monday.

With Derek McInnes and Alex McLeish out of the running, it leaves Warburton and interim manager Stuart McCall to slug it out. (Scottish Sun)

Tartan Army savours the craic in Dublin

Scotland fans arriving in Dublin yesterday for the Euro 2016 qualifying match against the Republic of Ireland were greeted with a tongue-in-cheek billboard.

The Paddy Power advert, showing Roy Keane as Mel Gibson’s William Wallace, said: “You may take our points, but at least we have our freedom.”

The Tartan Army arrived en masse with 20,000 Scotland fans descending on the Irish capital.

Odegaard dampens Celtic move speculation

Real Madrid wonderkid Martin Odegaard has moved to squash talk of a move to Celtic, branding it “speculation”.

The rumour mill went into overdrive two weeks ago when the 16-year-old was spotted talking to Hoops boss Ronny Deila at a match in Norway.

Odegaard insists he was not made an offer by Deila. (Evening Times)

Derek McInnes signs Dons deal

Derek McInnes has opened up on why he chose to stay at Pittodrie yesterday.

The Aberdeen boss has signed a contract to keep him at the club until 2019 on the day Bookies had slashed his odds to become the next Rangers manager.

McInnes explained that he had already been in discussion with the Dons chairman over a new contract and reportedly felt comfortable staying at the club because of “the strength of their relationship.” (Daily Record)

Teemu Pukki expects to be back at Parkhead

On-loan Celtic striker Teemu Pukki is reportedly expected to report back to Glasgow for pre-season training with the Hoops.

Celtic failed to reach an agreement with Danish side Brondby where the 25-year-old Finland international is currently on loan.

His Celtic contract is set to run until the summer of 2017. (Inside Futbol)

NEWS IN BRIEF

• Aberdeen have completed the signing of Ross County’s Paul Quinn.

• Robbie Keane will decide today if he will play against Scotland following the death of two cousins. (Scottish Sun)

• Hearts boss Robbie Neilson has said the club’s title win was vital as it rejoins the top flight next season. (Edinburgh Evening News)

• A group of Belgian fans travelled to Wales, a small Yorkshire village, after typing Wales into a SatNav. (BBC Sport)