Rumour Mill: Celtic line up Mensah move | Griffiths

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CELTIC intensify efforts to secure suspended Jonathan Mensah; Leigh Griffiths pledges future to Celtic; Dundee United offer stars Ciftci and Souttar new deals, plus more in Thursday’s Rumour Mill

Celtic set up efforts for Jonathan Mensah

Evian's Ghanaian defender Jonathan Mensah (left) in action. Picture: AFP/Getty Images

Evian's Ghanaian defender Jonathan Mensah (left) in action. Picture: AFP/Getty Images

Celtic are reportedly setting up efforts to bring Ghana international Jonathan Mensah despite a four-month ban handed to the centre back by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Evian defender Mensah - who will be a free agent at the end of the season - has been on Ronny Deila’s radar for some time but will miss the start of next season through suspension.

Deila is reportedly intensifying the chase for Mensah amid the threat of losing Virgil van Dijk and on-loan Jason Denayer in the summer. (Daily Record)

Leigh Griffiths pledges future to Celtic

Celtic star Leigh Griffiths has reportedly pledged his future to the Parkhead side following interest from Leeds United.

The Elland Road outfit are weighing up a potential £1 million deal to secure a summer move for the 24-year-old striker.

Griffiths has enjoyed impressive form in the second half of this season scoring 15 goals since January and also being named as SPFA Player of the Year. (Daily Mail)

- Leigh Griffiths has said he wants to wear the No 9 jersey next season as he aims to be gaffer Ronny Deila’s first choice up front.

The striker is also reportedly hoping to help lead the club to success in the Champions League qualifiers, underlining his intention to stay in Glasgow rather than move to the English Premier League. (Daily Record)

Dave King wants to deal with Mike Ashley

Dave King - who will be confirmed as the new Rangers chairman - has reportedly insisted that he still wants to deal with Sports Direct tycoon Mike Ashley making dealings with the businessman his top priority.

Ashley has demanded a General Meeting to approve the repayment of a £5 million loan made to the club.

King has said that the club has the money to repay Ashley but “it’s just a question of whether it’s the appropriate thing to do.” (Scottish Sun)

Dundee United offer Ciftci and Souttar new deals

Dundee United hope to fight off interest in striker Nadir Ciftci and youngster John Souttar after offering both players improved contracts.

The 23-year-old has hunted by Celtic where he could join up with former Tannadice team-mates Gary Mackay-Steven and Stuart Armstrong.

He has also been linked to Arsenal and Southampton, are also keeping tabs on John Souttar, a product of United’s youth academy.

Souttar has reportedly already rejected a move to Sunderland.

Both Souttar and Ciftci have a year left in their current deals with United unlikely to risk losing them for free in 12 months’ time. (The Scotsman)

- Stephen Thimpson has apparently insisted Dundee United are in safe hands whether he is in Scotland or not.

The club owner is attempting to buy A-League Newcastle Jets for less than £2.5 million which could see him relocate to Australia amid rumours that he is looking to see the Tannadice club to local businessman Gordon Deuchars. (Scottish Sun)

Naismith wants St Mirren manager role settled

Jason Naismith is reportedly hoping that the hotseat at St Mirren is filled as soon as possible so that his out-of-contract team mates can learn their fate.

A string of first-team players, including John McGinn and Gregg Wylde, will be out of a contract at the end of the season as the Paisley side’s board decide who will be the next permanent head coach.

Current boss Gary Teale is rumoured to still in the frame with reports a decision could be made in as little as 48 hours.

Naismith, who still has two years on his contract, said: ““We want it done and dusted, I still have a contract here, but for some of the others you just want it to get sorted.

“They have families to look after and you want them to be able to go away in the summer without any uncertainty.” (Evening Times)

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