Scottish Football Transfer News: EPL sides battle for Celtic star, Hearts near signing, new deal for Rangers ace, Aberdeen to avoid 'lazy recruitment'

The day has arrived, Scotland will face Ukraine at Hampden Park in the World Cup play-off.

The winner of this rearrange match due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine will progress to face Wales in Cardiff on Sunday.

Here are all the latest headlines, news and transfer speculation from around the SPFL:

EPL sides battle for Celtic starlet

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A trio of English Premier League clubs are keen on highly-rated Celtic teenager Rory Mahady. The goalkeeper is nearing his 16th birthday when he can sign his first professional deal. Celtic want to keep him but will face stiff competition to do so with Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur joining Leeds United in their pursuit of the Scotland Under-17 star. (Daily Record)

Dons recruitment plans

Aberdeen are looking to avoid “lazy recruitment” as they look to broaden their recruitment horizons. Jim Goodwin spoke of how a club the size of Aberdeen needs a director of football, head of recruitment and “army of scouts”. He said: “It's very easy to sign players from teams that you play against in your own league. I'm not saying we won't do that because sometimes it's worthwhile. But we have to be willing to go into Europe and South America. Ireland has been great for me too at St Mirren – there's no doubt about that.” (RedTV)

Patterson blow

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All the latest from around the SPFL and Scottish football. (Photo by Ross Parker / SNS Group)

Scotland have suffered a blow ahead of the crucial World Cup play-off with Ukraine after it was revealed Nathan Patterson will miss the match at Hampden Park. The Everton star “has run out of time a little bit for the first game”, according to Steve Clarke. Patterson had an operation on an ankle injury earlier this season. He could, however, return for the Wales game if Scotland win. (Various)

Thomson to leave Kelty

Former Hibs and Rangers star Kevin Thomson is set to quite Kelty Hearts with immediate effect. He led the Fife side to the League Two title in his first season after taking over from Barry Ferguson. He was touted as a possible next manager at both Raith Rovers and Dundee. (Daily Record)

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Celtic signing boost

Celtic could still sign Japanese utility man Ko Itakura. He spent the last season on loan at German giants Schalke 04. However the German second division champions had until midnight on May 31 to sign Itakura permanently. He has been linked with a move to Parkhead following a successful spell in Germany. (Various)

Forrest nears Hearts switch

Hearts are on the verge of signing Livingston star Alan Forrest. The winger is out of contract this summer and the Edinburgh club faced competition from Dundee United, But after an improved offer Forrest will decide if Edinburgh is where his future lies. (Daily Record)

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New deal for Rangers ace

Steven Davis has signed a contract to extend his stay at Rangers for another year. The 37-year-old was on the final days of his contract and had been linked to Premiership rivals Motherwell and St Mirren. He said, on signing his new deal: “Growing up as a Rangers fan, it was always going to be special pulling on the jersey, and I have been very fortunate to do it the number of times that I have and to have some of the memories I have had.” (Various)

Celtic seek analyst

Celtic are looking to make a key appointment within their recruitment staff. An advert has been posted ‘First Team Analyst’ with responsibilities which includes opposition analysis, set-play analysis and individual technical analysis. The advert said: “This will involve working closely with the Analysis and backroom team at Lennoxtown to service all their analysis & coaching needs.” (Jobs in Football)

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Gunners step up Hickey interest

Arsenal have stepped up their efforts to sign Aaron Hickey. The Scotland star has come off the back of an impressive season for Bologna with interest from around Europe. The Gunners are looking to strengthen after missing out on the Champions League. A fee of £21.25 has been touted with Hearts set to receive a sell-on clause. (Gazzetta dello Sport)

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