Rumour Mill: Leigh Griffiths | Cammy Bell | Celtic

Leigh Griffiths told to become ‘24-hour athlete’ as Deila refuses to rule out Hibs loan; Cammy Bell ruled out for four months with shoulder injury; Virgil van Dijk ‘never wanted to leave Celtic’ and more

Leigh Griffiths pictured during a Celtic training session. Picture: SNS
Leigh Griffiths pictured during a Celtic training session. Picture: SNS

Griffiths ‘needs to be 24-hour athlete’

RONNY Deila has urged Leigh Griffiths to force himself into the starting XI at Celtic by becoming a ‘24-hour athlete’.

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The striker has barely featured under Deila but the Norwegian gaffer has insisted the former Hibs and Wolves striker is still in his plans.

“I’ve always said people have to improve all the time to get their chance. That’s the same for Leigh as it is for the others,” Deila told the Evening Times.

And with a nod to Hibernian’s interest, Deila added: “We know it’s possible to loan players to Championship teams. But Leigh is here for now and I want him to get his fitness up because we know what’s in him.” (Evening Times)

Cammy Bell ‘out for four months’

RANGERS goalkeeper Cammy Bell has been dealt an injury blow after dislocating his shoulder for the second time in four weeks.

The former Kilmarnock stopper fell after catching a cross in training on Thursday and the bone was ripped from its joint.

“It’s hard to take because I’d been doing rehab for the past three weeks and everything was going okay,” the goalie revealed.

“I’d been doing light training for a week and I was ready to go again.

“I know it’ll be a few months but I’m going to work hard in the gym and get as strong as possible. The timescale of the surgery isn’t good for me but it just needs doing.”

Backup goalie Steve Simonsen has been hailed by Ally McCoist as ‘top class’ ahead of his extended run in the first team while recently-signed ‘keeper Lee Robinson will provide cover on the bench. (Various)

Van Dijk ‘never asked to leave Celtic’

VIRGIL van Dijk has revealed that he never asked to leave Celtic, after the transfer window ended in a tumultuous 48-hour period in which he was left out of the side to face Dundee and linked with a move to the English Premier.

But the towering Dutchman has revealed that he never said he wanted to leave, adding: “I am focused on Celtic and I am happy here.

“This is the club that gave me a chance and I’ve never had problems with anyone here.”

Van Dijk was cagey about his future at Celtic, but admitted that it was ‘difficult to say’ if he would be in Glasgow for the rest of the season. (Daily Record)

Craig’s stay of execution after last-gasp win

KENNY McLean fired St Mirren to a 2-1 win over Partick Thistle last night, giving under-fire manager Tommy Craig a bit of breathing space.

The former Paisley No 2 took the reins at St Mirren when Danny Lennon was emptied, but before last night, had seen his team score just one goal and fail to register a win.

Kris Doolan’s 22nd-minute opener for the Jags last night was cancelled out by substitute Calum Ball, before McLean’s stoppage time penalty handed the Buddies the three points. (The Scotsman)