Getafe enter race to sign Odegaard on loan; Blackett set for Old Trafford return; Bolton hit with transfer ban amid Stokes interest and Ukraine interested in Scotland friendly
Celtic face Odegaard competition
CELTIC have been dealt a blow in their slim hopes of landing Norwegian starlet Martin Odegaard on loan from Real Madrid, with Getafe and Rayo Vallecano both interested in the 17-year-old.
And reports in Spain suggest the Madrid-based side - who currently have Celtic forward Stefan Scepovic on loan - have contacted Real over a potential loan deal.
Celtic have been linked with Odegaard ever since his former manager at Stromsgodset, Ronny Deila, took the reins at Parkhead. (Inside Futbol)
Blackett set for Man United return
TYLER Blackett could be recalled by Manchester United with Louis van Gaal desperate for defensive cover with both Luke Shaw and Marcos Rojo out with long-term injuries.
Blackett hasn’t featured for Celtic since the start of November, with Emilio Izaguirre and Kieran Tierney preferred at left back, while Dedryck Boyata and Jozo Simunovic have been starting at centre half for the Hoops. (Daily Mail)
Bolton blow in Stokes chase
BOLTON have been dealt a blow in their bid to bring Celtic outcast Anthony Stokes to the Macron Stadium, after the Trotters were slapped with a transfer ban.
The Irish striker is reportedly a target for Cardiff, Leeds and Preston, with former boss Neil Lennon keen on a reunion with the forward.
But Bolton, who currently have debts of £170 million, have been blocked from signing any new players. (Scottish Sun)
Ukraine keen on Scotland friendly
UKRAINE are keen on taking on Scotland in a pre-Euro 2016 friendly - in a bid to get a headstart on their opponents.
Mykhaylo Fomenko’s side face Northern Ireland, Poland and Germany in France next year, with the former Dynamo Kiev defender wanting his team prepared for next summer’s finals.
Fomenko said: “Scotland are one of the nations we are considering playing before Euro 2016. They are a similar British-style team to Northern Ireland, so that would be ideal.
“They also played Germany and Poland in their group — and we have them, too.”
Belgium, South Korea, Serbia and Russia have also expressed an interest in playing Scotland prior to the tournament. (Scottish Sun)
Gers U20s set for Spain trip
RANGERS Under-20s will travel to Spain at the start of next year for a two-week training camp, the club has confirmed.
The Under-20s, featuring the likes of Robbie McCrorie and Dylan Dykes, will play two friendly matches, including a game against local side Levante. (Various)
Stubbs pays tribute to Gers fans amid Warburton jibe
HIBS head coach Alan Stubbs has described Rangers as a “fantastic club” while making reference to the way the Ibrox fans responded to the then Celtic defender’s cancer diagnosis 16 years ago.
But in a new twist to the on-going back and forth between Stubbs and opposite number Mark Warburton ahead of Monday’s clash, Stubbs pointed out that he is able to mention Rangers by name.
“Mark [Warburton] doesn’t like mentioning Hibernian Football Club. We’re ‘the other team’. But I have got no problem mentioning Rangers Football Club. It’s a fantastic club,” said Stubbs. (The Scotsman)
Gers eye three new players
MARK Warburton is looking to add three new players to his squad in January as the Rangers boss seeks to strengthen his side in the Championship title race.
The Rangers manager has identified the signing targets he believes can improve what he admits is currently a “lean” first team squad at Ibrox.
“A lot of work is going on in that regard. That’s no disrespect to the players already here, but we know that we are a lean, tight squad.
“So it’s just about making sure we add the one, two or three players we think will give us a bit of quality that we haven’t currently got,” he said. (The Scotsman)
NEWS IN BRIEF
• Former Celtic striker Mo Bangura has joined Chinese second tier outfit Dalian Yifang. The striker scored five goals in 17 games for AIK last year but has signed a three-year deal with the Liaoning outfit
• Five matches in Scotland have fallen victim to the weather. Raith Rovers v Alloa; Cowdenbeath v Albion Rovers; Arbroath v East Stirlingshire; Partick v St Johnstone and Dundee United v Motherwell are all off
• Catalonia will take on the Basque Country in a friendly match, with Barcelona stars Gerard Pique and Sergio Busquets facing up against Athletic Bilbao pair Ander Iturraspe and Aritz Aduriz
• James McFadden is keen on making an impact at Motherwell before joining up with Philadelphia Union before the MLS season starts in March