CELTIC target Sergio Araujo and could see a move for Dedryck Boyata this summer; Leigh Griffiths doesn’t want a Celtic-Hibs Scottish Cup final; Ian Baraclough will demand compensation for Motherwell as the fall out over the Championship fixture switch continues; plus more news and gossip in Friday’s Rumour Mill
Celtic keen on Sergio Araujo
CELTIC boss Ronny Deila is reportedly keen on Argentinian striker Sergio Araujo as he makes his shopping list ahead of the summer transfer window.
Araujo is currently on loan to Spanish side Las Palmas but still contracted to Boca Juniors. If Deila is set on acquiring the young Argentinian, the Bhoys may have to stretch to a £3million deal for a potential loan or permanment transfer.
Deila reportedly had the player watched in January has been impressed by reports of the 23-year-old’s performance.
A central striker is high on Deila’s priority list with Guidetti unlikely to stay at Parkhead. (The Daily Express)
Leigh Griffiths doesn’t want Celtic-Hibs final
Leigh Griffiths knows Celtic could meet Hibernian in the Scottish Cup final if both come through a tough semi-final meet this weekend. Given the choice, the striker has confessed he would rather not have to face his former club.
On Wednesday, the player also found out that would have to stand trial for allegedly singing an offensive song in a pub before an Edinburgh derby last season.
While he accepts that reaching the final would be something to celebrate for the club he loves, he is understandably anxious about potentially being cast as the one to cause Hibs yet more Scottish Cup final agony.
He said: “If they get there, it will be great for the club.
“But I’m just concentrating on doing my job for Celtic.” (The Scotsman)
Boyata could replace Jason Denayer
Belgian star Dedryck Boyata is set to exit Manchester City this summer with his future still in doubt. It was been suggested that Boyata may be being considered as a replacement for Jason Denayer at Celtic.
The defender confirmed to the Manchester Evening News that he will leave Manchester City at the end of the season despite having a year left on his contract.
Boyata will be replaced by compatriot Jason Denayer as he returns from his loan to Celtic, leaving the Parkhead outfit without a centre back.
Deila has a strong relationship with City, having acquired Guidetti and Denayer from the Blues as well as a number of the club’s young stars whilst manager of Stromsgodset in Norway.
Speculation of a loan move to Celtic was reported as far back as 2012 by the Daily Record.
Baraclough will demand cash back over fixture farce
Motherwell gaffer Ian Baraclough says the club will demand compensation from the SPFL if they are forced to splash out on temporary contracts for the top-flight play-off.
It was revealed yesterday how league chief Neil Doncaster had drafted an emergency plan to extend the season and stage the final leg of the promotion and relegation showdown in early June.
The Fir Park outfit are just one of several potential participants in the final-day drama who would have players out of contract on May 31.
He said: “It goes without saying it would be problematic. We would have to pay money which hasn’t been budgeted for. Clubs would have to seek compensation.
“There’s been plenty of time for the SPFL to go and organise fixtures and dates.” (The Daily Record)
Gardyne brands Dundee United unprofessional
With his future hangs in the balance with Dundee United, Ross County loan Michael Gardyne has reportedly branded his parent club as unprofessional.
The 29-year-old attacker has enjoyed a third stint at Victoria Park having arrived on loan last September, scoring 4 goals in 17 league matches but is yet to discover his fate.
He is apparently getting increasingly frustrated by continuing silence from the Arabs regarding his future in Dundee.
He said: “I’ve not heard a word from Dundee United. I think that’s a bit weird, as it’s my parent club. The odd text or phone call would have been nice, but I’ve not heard anything.” (Press and Journal)
Hibs’ Leeann Dempster “staggered” by SPFL stance
Hibs chief executive Leeann Dempster reportedly admitted she was “staggered” that the SPFL had been surprised at the furious row their decision to move Rangers final game of the season back 24 hours for the sake of television had created.
The League chiefs were forced into an embarrassing climb-down only hours after announcing that decision.
The decision has been immediately attacked by both Dempster and Hearts chairwoman Ann Budge, who both lodged formal complaints with the league.
The final round of Championship matches will now take place as scheduled on Saturday 2nd May.
Dempster revealed she didn’t find the fact Hearts final game was being moved unexpected, but she was surprised not to receive another email informing her all the matches were to be switched. (Edinburgh Evening News)
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