Rumour Mill: Saviola to Celtic? | Rangers | Hearts

CELTIC could resurrect a nine-year-old bid for former Barcelona man Javier Saviola, Rangers are closing in on two defenders, Kenny Shiels hits out at the ‘overrated’ Victor Wanyama, plus the latest news on Gary Hooper and the situation at Hearts in Tuesday’s Rumour Mill.

Saviola takes on Stiliyan Petrov as Barcelona play Celtic in 2004. Picture: Robert Perry
Saviola takes on Stiliyan Petrov as Barcelona play Celtic in 2004. Picture: Robert Perry

Celtic in hunt for former Barcelona striker Saviola

Celtic could find an unlikely replacement for want-away striker Gary Hooper, in the form of former Monaco, Real Madrid and Barcelona striker Javier Saviola.

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The 31-year-old Argentinian, named on Pele’s list of greatest living footballers, was released by Malaga in the summer and is weighing up his options.

Saviola said: “I have options and I will see what’s best for me and my family.

“I am not closing the door on any club.”

Saviola was previously linked with a loan move to Celtic nine years ago. (Record)

Rangers closing in on Mohnsi, Pandza

Ally McCoist says Rangers are close to signing up defenders Bilel Mohnsi and Boris Pandza.

McCoist said that the Tunisian could be part of the Ibrox squad “sooner rather than later.”

He added: “He seems very keen to come and we are certainly very keen to have him.”

As for Pandza, McCoist is hopeful that the former Bosnian under-21 captain can be added to the Ibrox squad.

“There’s a desire on both sides to possibly do something,” said the Rangers manager. (Various)

Gary Hooper latest: QPR up their bid, Norwich extend deadline

Queens Park Rangers have increased their bid for Celtic striker Gary Hooper, offering a deal worth up to £5.5 million.

Hooper is in the last year of his contract and has been linked with a move from Celtic Park all summer long. Norwich had issued Celtic with a Monday deadline over their £4m bid for the Englishman, although that deadline has since been extended to the end of today.

Angelo Massone’s bid for Hearts could be scuppered by the Scottish Football Association’s fit and proper person legislation.

SFA rules state that the governing body can veto any potential owner of a club if they have been involved at a club which has suffered an insolvency event in the past five years, which puts former Livingston owner Massone in a tricky situation. Livi went into administration in 2009.

The Italian businessman, currently based in Glasgow, was one of three parties to lodge a bid for the Tynecastle club with administrators BDO before their 5pm deadline last Friday.

Celtic hand back 500 Cliftonville tickets

500 tickets for Celtic’s Champions League tie with Cliftonville in Belfast tomorrow have been returned unsold by the club.

Home fans will be able to snap up the briefs this morning, with high demand expected for the European tickets among fans in the city. (BBC)

New Motherwell man Stephen McManus has his eye on a return to the national side after making a return to the top flight at Fir Park.

“I have always said I’ll never retire from international football,” the centre-back told Motherwell’s club website.

He added: “The only reason I will not be in squads is if the manager doesn’t pick me, it will not be from my own doing.” (

Former Kilmarnock manager Kenny Shiels reckons that Neil Lennon deserves an award for netting £12.5 million for Victor Wanyama, a player who in his view “doesn’t know what to do with the ball”.

The controversial manager said: ““To my mind, Neil Lennon
 deserves a knighthood for
 getting someone to pay £12.5m for him. We found that, when you gave him space, he just didn’t have the natural instincts to know what to do with the ball.

“Celtic have made a big 
financial gain from his transfer but I don’t think that they’ve been weakened in a footballing sense.” (Scotsman)