Kris Commons says contract offer is not good enough; Ally McCoist tells Stephen Thompson to stop ‘moaning’; Mitchell Van der Gaag is the new favourite for the Motherwell job and more in Friday’s Rumour Mill
Kris Commons says contract offer is not good enough
Kris Commons, who scored in the 4-3 defeat to Dinamo Zagreb last night, is out of contract in the summer.
He is wanted by Bolton, Leicester and Crystal Palace, and at 31 he is looking for a longer deal than Celtic are offering.
Asked if the length of the deal was an issue, he answered: “Yes. I don’t know where we stand at the moment. I haven’t been made an offer that I want to sign. It’s not in my hands. It’s down to the club, the board, the manager.
“If they want me here, they’ll keep me here.
“No doubt they deem the offer at the minute is something they feel is worthy of myself. But that’s where the sticking point is. I think I warrant something else.”
He added: “I’ve said many times that I want to stay.
“I’ve enjoyed four very successful years but there comes a time when you need your future sorted out and the clock is ticking.” (Express)
Ally McCoist tells Stephen Thompson to stop ‘moaning’
Tannadice supremo Thompson was left seething after being ordered to pay £204,000 for Telfer by an SPFL tribunal.
Thompson described the level of compensation United will have to shell out for the 19-year-old former Rangers youngster, who had been at Ibrox for 10 years, as “ridiculously prohibitive”.
Telfer joined United in June after turning down a new contract at Rangers.
McCoist can’t understand why Thompson is complaining because he knew the rules before landing Telfer on freedom of contract.
McCoist said: “Stephen and Dundee United decided to sign Charlie, which was well within their rights, but they knew the rules before they did that.
“And now they are having a moan about the rules. I’m not necessarily sure that should be the case. The rule hasn’t changed since United went and got Charlie.
“We feel we have got what we deserved for the education for Charlie over the last 10 years or so. But I can understand Dundee United’s disappointment in it.” (Express)
Mitchell Van der Gaag is the favourite for the Motherwell job
Former Fir Park star Mitchell Van der Gaag is now odds-on to become the next Motherwell manager - and could even be in place in time for tomorrow’s vital clash with Ross County. The 43-year-old Dutchman was made favourite by the bookies last night. The board met yesterday in a bid to make a final decision and the new manager could be announced today. (Mail)
Meanwhile the club is one step closer to being purchased by fans group the Well society with Les Hutchison stepping up his support for the bid. (Sun)
Rangers fans sell protest shirt
Rangers fans have launched their bid to take on Mike Ashley in the war over Rangers retail. The Rangers Supporters Trust have released an alternative top for fans, with all profits being ploughed back into the club. (Record)
Celtic fans set off flare in Zagreb
Celtic fans let off a flare during their club’s Europa League match against Dinamo Zagreb tonight.
There were also angry scenes in the crowd when police appeared to use CS spray on the Scottish travelling support at the Stadion Maksimir.
At one point a policeman in full riot gear could be seen seizing a cowering Celtic fan in the crowd.
During the home leg of the European fixture in October Scottish police arrested 17 Zagreb fans for alcohol and disorder offences, and possession of CS spray, flares and smoke bombs.
Four people were held inside the stadium. The other arrests were made outside and in the city centre. (Record)
Ronny Deila not happy with sloppy defence
Celtic manager Deila has threatened to rethink the way his team sets up in Europe - including his personnel - if they are to plug their leaky defence and advance further.
The Norwegian blasted: “We were too open, that was the problem.
“We had the chance to win at 2-1 and it was disappointing that we gave away the victory. We have to take this with us to the next stage.
“We have the players but we have to think about the formation when we play away in Europe and what kind of players we use.
“We were more offensive than we have been and we conceded too many goals.”
He added: “We have to be a lot, lot better in the next round.
“We will have players back who will give us more spirit so I am not frightened about that. But it was disappointing to give the victory away like we did, from being 2-1 up.” (Times)
Frustrated Beram Kayal set to leave Celtic
Frustrated midfielder Beram Kayal admits his agent has been trying to get him ‘away from Celtic’ for several months.
Maccabi Haifa have even opened talks with the 26-year-old, although he wants to stay in Europe.
Kayal will, however, leave the Bhoys at the end of the season on a free transfer and has wanted to leave Scotland for some time now. (HITC.co.uk)
The fifteen teams Celtic could face in the knockout stages
Celtic qualified from their Europa League group with a game to spare but after a week of top-flight European action they finally know who they could be facing in the last 32 of the competition.
The draw will be made on Monday but the competition format means the list of possible opponents for Ronny Deila’s side can already be narrowed down to just 15 teams:
• Borussia Moenchengladbach • Inter Milan
• Club Brugge • Dynamo Moscow
• Besiktas • Everton
• Feyenoord • Dynamo Kyiv
• Napoli • Fiorentina
• Legia Warsaw • Olympiacos
• Zenit St Petersburg • Athletic Bilbao
• Sporting Lisbon
Aberdeen will stop ‘talent drain’
Aberdeen vice-chairman George Yule has vowed the best and brightest of the region’s young football talent will not slip through the club’s net after announcing a new sponsorship with international energy company Statoil.
Wigan Athletic’s Shaun Maloney, Dundee United’s Stuart Armstrong and Sporting Lisbon’s Ryan Gauld are among those with links to the Granite City who have escaped the Dons’ grasp in the past, but Yule believes fresh funding will reduce the chances of it happening in the future.
Yule said: “The importance of the club’s need to produce its own talent can never be over emphasised.
“We will invest in improving the standard of our coaches and players and we want to make this club the benchmark for youth development in Europe.
“We run seven teams from under-10 to under-17 which play on a weekly basis and it takes commitment, resources and a lot of effort to manage.
“In the past there have been gems of players from Aberdeen and the surrounding area who have passed through the net, but I’m hoping this announcement is the start of us tightening that net to ensure more are caught. It started 18 months ago for the club, when we moved from having three part-time youth scouts covering Tayside to Moray. We now have 12 youth scouts on the payroll with a further 12 network scouts behind each one covering the same area. Statoil’s support will allow us to push on and develop and improve those links.” (Press and Journal)
Celtic’s women’s team in crisis
Celtic’s women’s team face a crisis with a number of top players having left the club and others threatening to follow. Scotland captain Gemma Fay departed earlier this week while two of the team’s best young prospects, Chloe Arthur and Heather Richards, yesterday joined rivals Hibs.
It is understood that further first-team players are in talks with other clubs, while former Scotland stalwarts Julie Fleeting and Suzanne Grant have not committed for next season.
Adding to the mystery, Scotland goalkeeper Fay yesterday refused to comment on her reasons for leaving after five seasons at the club. Although her 33rd birthday was on Tuesday, it is understood that she has no plans to retire from club or international football. (Scotsman)
News in brief:
• Steven Naismith set for bumper new deal at Everton. (Sun)
• Dundee will be without Kevin Thomson and Greg Stewart for tomorrow’s game with Hamilton. (Sun)
• AC Milan are trying to offload Fernando Torres for free. (Mirror)