Rumour Mill: McCarthy and Xavi to Celtic? | Bremen drop Izaguirre interest | Hibs eye Hateley

James McCarthy and Xavi have both been linked with Celtic. Pictures: Getty Images

James McCarthy and Xavi have both been linked with Celtic. Pictures: Getty Images

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James McCarthy and Xavi linked with Celtic; Bremen drop interest in Emilio Izaguirre and Hibs keen on Tom Hateley

Celtic linked with McCarthy

RUMOURS that Celtic could be in for Everton midfielder James McCarthy have gathered pace after the former Hamilton Accies player was subbed during the first half of the Toffees’ 2-1 win away to West Brom.

Despite Ronald Koeman claiming McCarthy was subbed for ‘tactical reasons’, there has been growing uncertainty over the Republic of Ireland international’s future at Goodison, with Celtic believed to be interested in the player as a potential replacement for Scott Brown.

However, former Everton boss David Moyes could look to take McCarthy to the Stadium of Light as Koeman ramps up his interest in Sunderland defender Lamine Kone. (Various)

Rodgers refuses to rule out Xavi move

BRENDAN Rodgers hasn’t ruled out an audacious move for Xavi, as he admitted he was still considering the possibility of a marquee signing.

The former Spain and Barcelona ace, who has raved about Celtic in the past, is currently with Qatari side Al Sadd, having signed a three-year deal in 2015.

But Rodgers said: “I can get you a marquee signing but they’ve got to be table to press and they’ve got to be able to run. For me, it’s about having the right profile of player who can come in.” (Daily Mail)

Bremen drop Izaguirre interest

WERDER Bremen have dropped their interest in Celtic left back Emilio Izaguirre after baulking at the £1 million price tag.

The German side’s interest in the Honduran was reported over the weekend, but it is believed the Bundesliga side aren’t keen on shelling out a seven-figure sum for the defender, who has found himself playing second fiddle to talented youngster Kieran Tierney. (Various)

Hibs keen on Hateley

HIBERNIAN have been linked with a move for former Motherwell midfielder Tom Hateley.

Neil Lennon, who brought in Brian Graham and Andrew Shinnie at the tail end of last week, is keen on adding players to his squad and is believed to be interested in bringing the 26-year-old to Easter Road.

Hateley, who can play in central midfield or at right back, is a free agent after spending two seasons with Slask Wroclaw in Poland. He has also had spells at Basingstoke and Tranmere. (Daily Express print edition)

BT Sport wants SFA talks over early restart

BT Sport have demanded showdown talks with the SFA after referee Craig Thomson restarted St Johnstone’s televised match with Celtic too early.

The whistler got the second half under way before the broadcaster was ready, leading to criticism from analyst and former Celtic striker Chris Sutton.

Sutton tweeted: “It’s unprecedented for refs to do this! Everything for a reason... Thomson’s problem is he can’t accept that he gets things wrong ie last week! Early kick offs unprecedented! Should answer to it but won’t.” {Daily Record)

Petrov abandons playing return but hints at management move

FORMER Celtic and Aston Villa midfielder Stiliyan Petrov has abandoned his bid to return to playing but has his eye on a career in management.

The Bulgarian fought back from leukaemia and turned out for Villa in pre-season at the age of 37, but failed to win a deal from voss Roberto Di Matteo.

But ‘Stan’ is keen on moving into management, adding: “My return to professional football has failed but I will explain the reasons at a later stage. Could I become a manager in Bulgaria? Of course, but not soon. I do not want to rush.” ({http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/ex-celtic-ace-stiliyan-petrov-8679116|Daily Record|Link to article})

Collum opens up over ‘witch hunt’ claims

SCOTTISH referee Willie Collum has claimed there was a witch hunt against him last season, insisting: “Some people want me to fail before I even blow my whistle.”

The whistler, who took charge of matches during the Euro 2016 tournament, added: “I’m not saying a world class referee. I’m saying I’m a referee who tries his best and learns all the time.

“I did think what happened at the end of last season was a witch hunt. All refs make mistakes but sometimes I think I get a bit of a raw deal.

“You’re judged on decisions. I always try to get them right. I can never promise to get them all right.” (Scottish Sun)

Celtic fans pledge to match Palestine fan

JUST over 1500 Celtic fans have raised more than £24,000 in less than 24 hours after a crowdfunding campaign was set up to match the UEFA fine dished out to the Parkhead club after supporters waved Palestinian flags.

The bid, initially aimed at raising £15,000 based on previous UEFA fines, is now on course to double that target.

And the campaign pledges: “We aim to raise £15,000 which will be split 50/50 between Medical Aid Palestine (MAP) and to the Lajee Centre, a Palestinian creative cultural children’s centre in Aida Refugee Camp, Bethlehem.” (GoFundMe)

McGinn set to extend Dons stay

NIALL McGinn will reportedly sign a new deal with Aberdeen in the coming days, following fellow forward Adam Rooney in pledging his future to the Dons.

McGinn, who scored in Aberdeen’s 2-1 win over 10-man Partick Thistle at the weekend, joined the Pittodrie side in 2012 and has netted 57 goals in 182 matches. (Daily Express print edition)

Forrester backs ‘fox in the box’ Garner to be an Ibrox hit

HARRY Forrester has backed new Rangers signing Joe Garner to be a hit at Ibrox.

The former Doncaster winger said: “I played against Joe a few times in England. He is a great striker. He will get goals. He is a livewire who will run in behind. He is a fox in the box type.

“Everyone has seen his famous goal against Rotherham when he lifts it over the player’s head and puts it in the top corner. That is the quality he has got. Hopefully we can see that at Ibrox.” (Daily Record)

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