Celtic dealt blow in defender pursuit, Hoops ace drops contract bombshell, more clubs join race for Carlos Pena’s services and which English club is targeting a Hibs striker?
Hoops priced out of defender race
Celtic may have to abandon their bid to sign Belgian ace Timothy Castagne, with Atalanta pricing the 23-year-old at £10 million.
The Hoops had been linked with a move for the right-back, as they look to identify a successor to Mikael Lustig, but sources believe the Serie A side are looking for at least double the £5 million Brendan Rodgers’ side were hoping to pay.
Castagne’s Nerazzurri contract runs until 2021, but the twice-capped Belgian international looks unlikely to be leaving Bergamo for Glasgow. (Various)
Boyata ‘to quit Celtic’
Dedryck Boyata will quit Celtic in the summer but could sign a pre-contract deal this month, according to his agent.
Jacques Lichtenstein insisted that the Belgian international extending his Hoops contract is “not an option”, adding: “We are not even talking. We have plenty of choice. We are looking at every proposition.”
The 28-year-old former Manchester City starlet is understood to have several offers on the table and could make a decision on his future before the end of the month. (Het Laatste Nieuws)
Clubs join Pena chase
Two more clubs are keen on Rangers outcast Carlos Pena. The 28-year-old, one of the Ibrox side’s highest earners, hasn’t kicked a ball for the Light Blues since a ten-minute substitute appearance in an Old Firm game on December 30 2017.
BB Erzurumspor were linked with a move earlier this week and the Turkish Super Lig side’s rivals Alanyaspor and Rizespor are also said to have expressed an interest in the former Chivas player.
The 19-cap Mexico international was sent on loan to Cruz Azul in Januaryu 2018, and had another loan spell with Nexaca later last year but suffered a string of personal problems and loss of form. (24SaafFutbol)
Robins want Hibs ace and Rangers defender
Bristol City are keen on signing Hibs striker Florian Kamberi, and could make moves for forgotten Rangers man Lee Wallace and former Dundee United aace Ryan Gauld.
Robins boss Lee Johnson is keen on bolstering his squad at Ashton Gate, with versatile defender Wallace top of his shopping list, although the English Championship side are keeping tabs on the former Grasshoppers youngster.
The former Hearts full-back has made just two sub appearances under Steven Gerrard and looks to be behind Borna Barisic, Jon Flanagan and midfielder Andy Halliday in the left-back pecking order. (The Sun)
Championship could could scupper ‘colt’ team plans
Championship clubs could scupper plans for the introduction of a fifth division after being told Rangers and Celtic “colt” teams would be allowed to be promoted as far as the second tier.
SPFL chiefs held a meeting with League 1 and League 2 clubs in December to discuss a proposal to create SPFL League 3, which would be made up of colt teams as well as clubs from the Lowland and Highland leagues.
A further meeting is planned for later this month but details provided to Championship clubs have not won favour, with no cap on potential promotion until the Old Firm colt teams reach the second tier of Scottish football. (The Scotsman)
Hibs cup-winner on look-out for new club
Former Hibs defender Niklas Gunnarsson is on the look-out for a new club – but he won’t be returning to Easter Road, the Evening News can reveal.
News that Gunnarsson, a member of the Edinburgh club’s historic Scottish Cup-winning side of 2016, had turned down a new contract with Swedish side Djurgarden had sparked speculation he could be on his way back to Scotland.
He has found himself in demand with concrete offers from clubs in Poland, Denmark and the UK but it is understood that Gunnarsson has not been speaking to Hibs. (Evening News)