Hooper’s ‘come-get-me’ plea
Former Celtic striker Gary Hooper has issued a come-get-me plea to his old club after becoming a free agent. The 31-year-old has left Sheffield Wednesday but is dropping heavy hints that he fancies a return to Parkhead.
Hooper only played six times for the Owls this season, with injury effectively ending his hopes of a new deal at Hillsborough. Now the former Scunthorpe and Norwich forward looks to have his heart set on a return north of the Border.
He scored 82 goals for Celtic over three years in the early 2010s, and has been retweeting Hoops fans keen to see him back in Glasgow. (Various)
Rangers rage at SFA over Jozo incident
Rangers have taken aim at the SFA after Jon Flanagan was charged with violent conduct after a clash with Celtic captain Scott Brown.
The Scotsman reported yesterday that the Gers had branded the decision “part of the erosion of respect for Scotland’s referees” and questioned why Jozo Simunovic wasn’t cited for a similar incident with Jermain Defoe.
A club spokesperson told the Evening Times: “It is particularly shocking that another Rangers player has been singled out for retrospective action and issued with a notice of complaint while Jozo Simunovic has escaped any kind of censure.
“We cannot understand how these two incidents could be studied yet only one be considered worthy of punishment. It seems as if Rangers’ players are being held to a different code of conduct from players at other clubs. We shall vigorously defend Mr Flanagan and have also asked for full transparency on what matters are brought forward for retrospective action. Are those decisions being made even-handedly?” (Various)
Jozo escaped due to lack of unanimity
The reason Jozo Simunovic escaped retrospective action for his clash with Rangers striker Jermain Defoe is that the Judicial Panel couldn’t reach a unanimous decision on the incident.
The Scotsman understands the incident involving the Croatian defender and ex-England international was dealt with in the same way as Jon Flanagan’s clash with Scott Brown, but the panel couldn’t unanimously agree on whether it warranted action.
As a result, the defender has not been censured and won’t have to contest any retrospective ban. (Daily Record)
Hertha expect to sign Boyata ‘within weeks’
Dedryck Boyata could be playing his football in the Bundesliga next season, with Hertha Berlin confident of sealing a deal for the Belgian international by the end of the month.
The 28-year-old is out of contract at Celtic in the summer and has held talks with the German side over a £40,000-a-week deal to move to Berlin.
The former Manchester City kid has likely played his last game for Celtic, and is currently sidelined through injury, and while there is interest in the World Cup star, The Scotsman understands it is only a matter of time before he is paraded by The Old Lady. (The Sun)
US businessman eyes Falkirk takeover
Falkirk are the subject of an attempted buyout by American businessman Mark Campbell, according to reports.
The Bairns were relegated to League One after a dismal season in the Championship. The fall from grace - the Bairns finished runners-up in the second tier two years running - has seen a reshuffle in the boardroom.
Campbell, understood to have financial backing from the Far East, has held talks with Falkirk shareholders including Schuh founder Sandy Alexander, who own 62 per cent of shares in the club.
The same consortium are also believed to talking to Sunderland owner Stewart Donald over a similar buyout. (The Sun)
Deal me in for life, says Forrest
Celtic and Scotland winger James Forrest has insisted he never wants to leave the champions - and has confirmed he WILL be fit for the Scottish Cup final.
The 27-year-old wideman, who has enjoyed an impressive season on the flank for club and country, told The Scotsman: “I’ve always felt that to stay with Celtic for my entire career would be unbelievable.
“We’re still a long way away from that but I’m really enjoying it and, over the last few years, I’ve discovered that this club is bigger than even I had realised before.” (The Scotsman)