Rumour Mill: Celtic skipper could be new ‘Wayne Rooney’ | McLeish: ‘Nothing sinister’ about Scotland call-offs | Gers still keen on ex-Liverpool ace

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In today’s Rumour Mill, an Aussie agent keen on luring Scott Brown down under reckons the Celtic skipper would have the same impact as Wayne Rooney; Scotland boss Alex McLeish has moved to quash rumours that there is anything untoward behind the recent spate of call-offs; Reports suggest Rangers are still active in their efforts to snare former Liverpool star and Steven Gerrard teammate Martin Skrtel.

Agent claims Scott Brown could be Aussie league’s ‘Wayne Rooney’

Scott Brown has caught the eye of Aussie agent Lou Sticca. Picture: John Devlin

Scott Brown has caught the eye of Aussie agent Lou Sticca. Picture: John Devlin

Australian agent Lou Sticca has expressed a desire to lure Scott Brown down under, claiming the Celtic skipper could have the same impact as Wayne Rooney in the USA.

Sticca has confirmed he will make a move for the midfielder if his Western Melbourne consortium lands one of the two proposed new franchise spots in the A-League.

Sticca told the Daily Record: “I probably shouldn’t say this but I’m an unabashed Celtic fan. I’ve been dealing with the club as an agent for over a decade now and with Peter Lawwell.

“He’d become a cult hero the same as he is in Glasgow. He’d have the same impact here that Rooney is currently having in the States.”

(Daily Record)

Nothing sinister in Scotland call-offs, insists boss Alex McLeish

Alex McLeish has hit back at suggestions that Scotland players were defecting under his charge, insisting there was “nothing sinister” in the spate of call-offs.

The national manager has had to cope with the loss of a raft of key players leading up to the decisive Nations League double-header that sees Scotland face Albania tonight in Shkoder, before Israel come to Hampden on Tuesday.

But McLeish is adamant the call-offs are genuine and has moved to quash rumours that there is something more sinister going on.

“It is not something sinister, if you are trying to find a story out of this there is nothing there,” said McLeish.

(The Scotsman)

Hibs star in Aussie contention after anthem boast

Martin Boyle could be set to make his Australia debut - after convincing boss Graham Arnold that he knows the national anthem, according to reporter.

The Socceroos take on South Korea in a friendly in Brisbane and the Hibs winger is in the squad.

Now manager Graham Arnold has revealed how impressed he’s been with the Scottish Cup winner.

“He’s in contention. I have still to decide on the starting line-up but there is also the possibility of making six subs in a friendly.

“Martin has fitted into the group perfectly, he sang the national anthem so well!”

(The Scottish Sun)

Rangers ‘haven’t given up’ on luring Martin Skrtel to Ibrox

Rangers will renew their attempts to bring Martin Skrtel to Ibrox, according to reports. CNN Turkey claims that Steven Gerrard has not given up on a reunion with his former Liverpool team mate, despite the player’s wages reportedly scuppering hopes of a deal during the summer.

(The Scotsman)

Swedish side ‘targeting’ Celtic ace Mikael Lustig in Bosman deal

Swedish club AIK Stockholm are reportedly weighing up an offer to bring Mikael Lustig back to his homeland once his contract with Celtic expires.

The 31-year-old’s Hoops deal runs out at the end of this season, meaning AIK could pick up for nothing.

Despite a successful period with Celtic, Lustig has experienced a dip in form in recent months and could be seen as surplus to requirements by boss Brendan Rodgers.

AIK Sporting Director Bjorn Wesstrom said: “I just have to stress very strongly here that this is a player who has a contract that is a year left and to contact him now, we must have Celtic’s blessing, and we have not requested that.”

(Daily Record)