In today’s Rumour Mill: Brendan Rodgers has hinted there will be no more big money signings for Celtic this transfer window; Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes insists it’s too early to talk of a title race; and Hearts’ striker Steven Naismith reckons the Scottish Premiership is in its best shape in a decade.
Brendan Rodgers says there will be no more big money signings for Celtic
Brendan Rodgers has revealed that Celtic won’t be splashing the cash on any new signings for the remainder of the January transfer window.
The Parkhead club have already forked out £2 million to bring in Ivorian striker Vakoun Issouf Bayo and secure loan deals for PSG forward Timothy Weah and Scotland winger Oliver Burke.
Quizzed over whether his side will be welcoming any more big name faces this winter, the Celtic boss said: “I don’t think that’s how Celtic works.
“The model of the club is value and maximising that value and talent and development and seeing it grow at the club.”
Celtic’s Nir Bitton emerges from 11 months of despair
Celtic midfielder Nir Bitton is nearing full fitness after being sidelined for almost a year, but was so worried about his future he had told his wife, Bar, she might have to go out looking for a job.
However, the 27-year-old believes he will appreciate what he has all the more having recovered from his first serious injury, the mental torment having taken almost as great a toll as the physical scars.
Gerrard urges Barisic and Grezda to toughen up
Steven Gerrard has issued a warning to Eros Grezda and Borna Barisic, insisting the pair need to learn how to better deal with the rough and tumble nature of the Scottish Premiership in the second half of the season.
The Ibrox boss said: “They need to use the next two weeks as a mini pre-season to get their bodies ready to cope with the physical demands of Scotland and the regular game schedule.
“There’s no doubt both have got quality. Borna has shown that regularly when he’s played but we haven’t had him fit enough so he needs to get more robust.
“Grezda has got it all to prove. He needs to push himself to prove to everyone he’s capable of being a Rangers player.”
‘I don’t think there’s a title race yet’ says Aberdeen’s Derek McInnes
Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes has insisted it is still too early to talk of a title race even although only three points separate the Premiership’s top four clubs at the moment.
Celtic and Rangers are locked together at the top of the table, the champions ahead only on goal difference and a single point between them and Kilmarnock while McInnes’ own side, runners-up in each of the past four seasons, sit a further two off the pace.
He said: “I don’t think there is a title race. I’m not sure anyone can say that, even if we would all want that. After 21 games it shows there is a real credibility at the moment, but it falls short of a real title race.”
Girlfriend foiled Andy Halliday’s plan to celebrate Old Firm victory
Rangers midfielder Andy Halliday was forced to celebrate last month’s Old Firm win on the plane to Dubai after his cheeky bid to toast the triumph in the streets around Ibrox was foiled.
The boyhood Rangers fan later described the victory as the best day of his life but he was forced to dart straight to the airport after full-time having signed up for a sunshine break with girlfriend Jilly Cross in the Middle East.
Hearts’ Steven Naismith: Scottish football at its best level in ten years
Steven Naismith has heaped praise on the standard of the Scottish Premiership. The Hearts striker, currently on loan from Norwich, says the quality is better now than it’s been at any time in the past decade.
He said: “It’s never been a better product in the last ten years. That’s the next part and hopefully everybody can go forward.”