CELTIC legend Kenny Dalglish says Rangers are still the same team; top European side’s bid for Efe Ambrose rejected by Celtic’; Charlie Nicholas writes off Rangers’ promotion hopes; plus all the latest football news and gossip
Dalglish says Celtic fans who placed ad are wrong
Celtic supporters who took out a full page newspaper advert to brand Rangers a new club ahead of this weekend’s Old Firm showdown have been compared to psychopaths by Kenny Dalglish.
Dalglish said: “Rangers is an iconic name of Scottish football, as is Celtic. If people want to do that in an advert, you would need to ask them why.
“It’s like asking me why a psychopath does what he does. I don’t know. I wouldn’t have an answer for what they’ve done. It’s Rangers. If you are a Celtic fan, it’s still Rangers isn’t it?” (Scotsman)
Celtic reject £3m Olympiakos offer for Ambrose
Celtic hav turned down a £3 million bid for their Nigerian defender Efe Ambrose. The Greek side made the enquiry with a view to sealing a deal before the end of January.
The Nigerian international has already been linked with moves to West Ham and Crystal Palace over the last month, but Ronny Deila insisted that Ambrose would not be going anywhere.
“Efe is going to stay,” Deila said. (Daily Mail)
Charlie Nicholas writes off Rangers promotion bid
Former Celtic star Charlie Nicholas has dismissed Rangers’ hopes of promotion from the Scottish Championship over their sale of Lewis Macleod. He also wrote off their chances of staging an upset against Celtic for Sunday’s Old Firm game.
He said: “The midfield is average, they are not scoring a lot of goals, and their only real talent, Macleod, has just been sold to Brentford. Macleod’s transfer just sums up the situation at Ibrox. It’s ridiculous when you look at some of the values in England for players such as Kyle Naughton. (Daily Record)
Walter Smith: Old Firm is what Scots football needs
Walter Smith believes the return of the Old Firm fixture will provide a much-needed shot in the arm for Scottish football, despite what he admits are “unsavoury” elements of the rivalry between Rangers and Celtic.
He said: “It is always a frenzy around the Old Firm game, it just depends what kind of frenzy. Sometimes it spills over and there are problems that we could do without. You have to stress that there are elements of it which are unsavoury.
“But, by the same token, for all the problems it creates every now and again, I feel Scottish football needs the Rangers-Celtic fixture. The profile this game on Sunday will have throughout Europe, even the world, will be massive.” (Scotsman)
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Give Commons two-year deal, urges Lubo Moravcik
Celtic should accept Kris Commons’ demand for a two-year contract - and his age shouldn’t be a factor in the decision, according to Celtic legend Lubo Moravcik.
He said: “I have always liked Kris. He’s been at Celtic for a long time now and why can’t he go on for a few more seasons? Commons is fit, playing well and that’s the most important thing. If he stays fit, he has a lot left to give to Celtic over the next few years.
“Okay, you can’t play at 45, but to play at the top level at 35 is not a problem. What’s better, a 20-year-old who is no good or a 35-year-old who can play?” (Scottish Sun)
Mols tells of moment Ibrox fell silent at Ricksen game
Michael Mols has spoken out about the moment when he realised just how ill his friend and former team-mate Fernando Ricksen had become. On Sunday, when the former Rangers captain’s tribute match kicked off, Mols said Ricksen fell over trying to kick the ball - after which the crowd fell silent.
“It was difficult at kick-off when he fell over and the place went silent. In his mind he thinks he can still kick a ball but he can’t find the balance in his muscles. That was a difficult moment, everyone was shocked.” (Daily Record)
Alex Rae: Celtic guilty of cheap shots
Former Rangers midfielder Alex Rae has accused Celtic of firing off “cheap shots” ahead of the two sides’ League Cup match on Sunday.
Rae, who said last weekend’s FA Cup games proved that shocks can happen, commented: “There has been a few disrespectful remarks coming out of Parkhead, saying that if they don’t score give it’ll be looked upon as a bad result. It’s a cheap shot. If that’s how they want to conduct the build-up, good luck to them.” (Daily Record)
• Rotherham United have made an offer for St Mirren’s Kenny MacLean. The Championship side would have to offer more than the £150,000 Fleetwood Town did to bag the midfielder, it is understood. (Daily Express)
• Motherwell will find out soon whether their bid to keep Legia Warsaw loanee Henrik Ojamaa has been successful. Motherwell want to extend the Estonian’s loan deal, but they face competition for his signature by a Norwegian club who want to sign him permanently. (Daily Express)