FORMER US international defender Oguchi Onyewu is unlikely to sign for Rangers; Hibernian goalkeeper Mark Oxley set to leave; Ann Budge calls for better communication and conduct in Scottish football; plus the rest of today’s football news and gossip
Rangers chase mystery striker
Mark Warburton said he is pleased Rangers have been linked with so many new strikers, because the media are getting it wrong.
Rangers have identified a few targets as they look to bolster their attacking options, but there is one player in particular Warburton has his eye on.
“The one we want is one you haven’t dug up yet but I have no doubt you will keep on digging,” he said. (Evening Times)
Brendan Rodgers is hopeful of netting duo
Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers hopes to secure deals for two new signings prior to the deadline for Champions League eligibility.
The Hoops begin their campaign next week against Lincoln Red Imps, but have made only one signing this far, Fulham starlet Moussa Dembele.
Rodgers, though, revealed that they are close to tying up deals for two players and remains hopeful they will be done in time.
“We have a couple of items ongoing and if we can them done, then great. But we will see,” he said. (Evening Times)
Rangers deal for US defender Oguchi Onyewu now unlikely
Mark Warburton is still on the lookout for a centre-back – and a striker – as it looks almost certain a deal will not be struck for Oguchi Onyewu.
The former American national team captain, 34, spent the last ten days with the squad on trial in the United States and played two spells in Wednesday’s 2-1 win over Charleston Battery. Warburton held further discussions with Onyewu last night before flying back to Scotland and it seems unlikely that a deal will now be done. However, a centre-back and a striker remain priorities for Warburton. (Scotsman)
Hibs run rule over West Brom keeper as Mark Oxley set to go
Hibs head coach Neil Lennon is to run the rule over West Brom keeper Alex Palmer after admitting Mark Oxley is on his way to Southend United.
Palmer is to play in Sunday’s friendly against Motherwell as the Easter Road side weigh up their options for their number one jersey.
Oxley featured in last night’s 6-1 win over Edinburgh City at Meadowbank Stadium, but the Englishman is expected to return south to join up with his former Hull City manager, Phil Brown, at Roots Hall.
Lennon said: “We’ve got a goalkeeper in Alex Palmer from West Brom, we’re going to have a look at him at the weekend.
“We’ve had permission from West Brom and the SFA to play him and we’ll give him a run out on Sunday.” (Scotsman)
A lot needs to change in Scots game, says Hearts’ Ann Budge
Hearts owner Ann Budge wants to tackle unacceptable conduct and improve communications by joining the Scottish Professional Football League board.
The Edinburgh businesswoman, 68, has submitted a formal application to stand for election at the league’s agm on 20 July.
Budge wants to see more family-friendly atmospheres at grounds across the country by stamping out sectarianism, racism and other misconduct.
“It’s absolutely crucial we get our own house in order,” she said, “so nobody has to tell us what we have to do. I put a statement out last week reminding everyone about it, which I feel I have a duty to do. Some supporters come back to you and say to stop telling them how to behave. Well, sorry, but that is my job to remind you that there are rules and we actually have to apply them.” (Scotsman)
SFA referee Bobby Madden quit day job to officiate at Euro 2016
Scottish referee Bobby Madden has revealed he had to quit his day job to be able to referee at Euro 2016, where he officiated three games.
He left his job as a distribution manager at a publisher – “a good job with a decent salary” – several months ago, a move he admitted was a risk.
“I didn’t have the annual leave left and the company I was with couldn’t support me any more. I had to decide whether to sacrifice the refereeing to stay in my job or chase this goal of going to the Euros.
“It wasn’t confirmed until March, so I took a bit of a chance. For me it was a risk worth taking. I’d spokken to my family about it. I’d worked for 15 years to get to that level in the business.” He added: “The higlight was standing in Marseille, in the Stade Velodrome, listening to everyone singing the French national anthem. That made it all worthwhile.” (The Scottish Sun)
Derek McInnes: Niall McGinn gamble almost cost us
Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes gave Euro 2016 hero Niall McGinn a rest against the Dons’ match against Luxembourg minnows Fola Esch – and admitted the decision almost cost his side their progress in the Europa League qualifying rounds.
He said: “Niall is a huge player for us, but I have an obligation to look after him for the whole season. You could maybe say we should be good enough to come here with a two-goal lead and go through without Niall. But there were times in the game I started to doubt that. Thankfully, he will be back for the next round.
“It was a gamble and I don’t like gambling. But the boy hasn’t had a break for three years and I have a responsibility to look after Niall for the whole season, not just for now.”
Aberdeen lost 1-0, but crept through with a 3-2 aggregate win. (Scotsman)