Rumour Mill: Celtic midfielder set for shock loan deal | Rangers player a doubt for Old Firm clash | Key Hearts man ‘could be fit for semi’

The latest Scottish football news, rumours and transfer gossip...

Hoops youngster jets out to US on loan

Celtic midfielder Mark Hill has struck a loan deal with USL Championship side Charlotte Independence until the end of the season.

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The 20-year-old’s switch comes four weeks after Hoops new signing Andrew Gutman made a similar move.

Celtic players take part in a training session at Lennoxtown. Picture: SNS Group
Celtic players take part in a training session at Lennoxtown. Picture: SNS Group

Hill, who spent time with Forfar earlier this season, was brought to North Carolina by former Celtic performance chief Jim McGuinness. (The Sun)

Arfield an Old Firm doubt

Scott Arfield is a doubt for the Old Firm clash next Sunday after pulling out of the Canada squad.

The Rangers midfielder, who captains his country, was forced to withdraw from the final Concacaf Nations League qualifier against French Guiana.

And despite Alfredo Morelos getting the all-clear to face the Celts, Arfield’s potential absence is another blow for Gers boss Steven Gerrard to conted with. (Various)

Smith back in training - and could make semi

Hearts have been boosted by Michael Smith’s return to training - and the experienced right-back has been pencilled in for a possible return for the Scottish Cup semi-final with Inverness on April 13.

Smith damaged his thigh in the Scottish Cup win over Auchinleck Talbot on February 10 but has already resumed light running.

It was initially feared that the Northern Ireland international could be sidelined for up to 12 weeks. (The Sun)

Fleck: Quitting Rangers was right call

Scotland new boy John Fleck has insisted quitting Rangers was the right call. The midfielder didn’t switch his contract to Rangers newco and opted to join Coventry and is now at Sheffield United who sit second in the Championship.

He said: “It was my choice (to leave). I was in and around the squad [but] I was not a first team regular, and I just thought I had to go out and find myself as a player.”

Fleck, who claims he can’t recall anyone trying especially hard to convince him to stay, added: “I could have stayed there but would I have played? I am not so sure.” (The Scotsman)

Benkovic blow for Hoops

Celtic won’t get to hang on to defender Filip Benkovic for next season, as Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers confirmed the Croatian defender will return to the English Premier League side.

The Hoops had hoped to strike another loan deal for next season, but Rodgers said: “The whole plan for him was to get him game time. We took him up to Celtic which was a huge club with big pressures to play. He has done very well.

“All the loan players will look to come back and then we will decide where we will go from there.” (Daily Record)

Luton eye Shinnie swoop

Luton Town are keen on signing Aberdeen skipper Graeme Shinnie, according to reports.

The Scotland international is out of contract in the summer, although the Dons have made him an offer to remain at Pittodrie.

However, the Hatters are understood to be keen on reuniting Shinnie with brother Andrew, who has impressed for the League One table-toppers. (Daily Express)