Hibs keen on bringing Steven Whittaker back to Easter Road; Newcastle weighing up move for Simunovic while Stuart Armstrong is on Brighton’s radar and Fran Sandaza hits out at Rangers
Simunovic a wanted man
Newcastle and West Brom are among the clubs leading the chase to sign Celtic defender Jozo Simunovic.
The Croatian centre back was reportedly priced at £9 million by Celtic in January, but that hasn’t put off a host of potential suitors. Along with the Baggies and the Magpies, RB Leipzig, Sevilla, Espanyol, Torino and Crystal Palace have all been linked. (Daily Mail)
Lennon on Whittaker trail
Hibs boss Neil Lennon is attempting to strike a deal to bring Steven Whittaker back to Easter Road.
Whittaker is reportedly high on Lennon’s wishlist as Hibs prepare for life back in the Premiership.
The Norwich defender’s contract is up in the summer and although he will likely have offers from England, it is understood that Whittaker is open to a return to Scotland. (Scottish Sun)
Brighton keen on Armstrong
Celtic midfielder Stuart Armstrong is reportedly a target for Brighton, as they chase promotion to the English Premier League by winning the Championship.
The Seagulls just have to equal Newcastle’s score this weekend to seal the title, and are already planning for life in the top tier.
But despite Brighton’s interest, Celtic remain hopeful of striking a new deal with Armstrong, who has enjoyed a great first season under Brendan Rodgers. (Various)
La Liga-bound Sandaza blasts Gers
Former Dundee United and St Johnstone striker Fran Sandaza has taken aim at Rangers as his current club stand on the brink of history.
Girona are on the cusp of winning promotion to Spain’s top flight for the first time in their 87-year history - and Sandaza reckons it’s KARMA for the way he was treated at Ibrox.
Sandaza said: “Four years ago I was fired by Rangers in the Third Division and now I’m going to play in the best league in the world.
“It was a terrible decision made by Rangers. I had signed for four years and they didn’t show any patience or loyalty with me. “Nobody connected with the club stuck up for me – not even Ally McCoist.” (The Scotsman)
King free to leave Hearts as Caley Jags hover
Billy King has been told he’s free to leave Hearts this summer, with Inverness Caledonian Thistle poised to make a permanent move for the winger.
King is already on loan at the Highlanders, but the former Under-21 midfielder could put pen to paper on a permanent deal come the summer. (Press and Journal)
Villa targeting Bailly
Aston Villa could be set to launch a surprise move for Celtic goalkeeper Logan Bailly.
The Belgian ‘keeper has slipped to third choice at Parkhead with Craig Gordon and Dorus de Vries ahead of him in the pecking order.
But Steve Bruce is keen on bringing the former Genk ‘keeper to Villa Park where he could stake a claim to be first first choice goalkeeper. (Scottish Sun)
Hoops set for van Dijk windfall
Celtic are set to cash in to the tune of Virgil van Dijk as Chelsea look set to nab the defender from under Arsenal’s nose.
The Blues are set to sign the Dutchman for a fee rising to £55 million - with Celtic, who sold van Dijk for £13 million to Southampton two years ago - set to benefit from the sell-on clause in the deal. (Scottish Sun)
NEWS IN BRIEF
• Former England and Arsenal defender Martin Keown reckons English football needs a system similar to Scotland, where players can be retrospectively punished for diving
• Arnaud Djoum has insisted he will stay at Hearts next season, despite his stock rising following Cameroon’s victory in the African Cup of Nations in February
• Ex-Rangers defender Hugh Burns has slammed Mark Warburton - for leaving Pedro Caixinha with a squad of ‘underperforming players on long contracts’