Rumour Mill: Rangers’ Diagouraga bid | Mane keen on Celtic move | Anthony Stokes

Anthony Stokes: Heading for Hibernian? Picture: Gordon Fraser
Anthony Stokes: Heading for Hibernian? Picture: Gordon Fraser
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ANTHONY Stokes reluctant to leave Celtic for loan move to Highlands; Rangers’ return to SPFL top flight will help Celtic, says John Collins; Leigh Griffiths is an “example” to everyone at Celtic; plus all the rest of today’s football news and gossip

Anthony Stokes won’t budge on SPFL loan moves

Celtic striker Anthony Stokes is unwilling to be farmed out on loan to Inverness CT or Dundee United, according to the Sunday Post. Celtic are keen to offload the Irish striker, but his reluctance to go north to the Highlands – the only club that has publicly declared an interest in Stokes has been Inverness – could enrage his club further. Stokes was suspended last month following a Twitter rant at sitting on the substitutes bench at Caley Thistle. According to the Mail on Sunday, Hibernian have also joined the race for Stokes’ signature. (Sunday Post)

Rangers’ return to top flight will galvanise Celtic

Celtic assistant manager John Collins has welcomed the prospect of Rangers rejoining the top tier of Scottish football – because it will help Celtic improve as a side. He said the resumption of rivalries between the two teams would also add “spice and more interest.”

“Anyone who says otherwise, I don’t think is in the real world,” said Collins. (Mail on Sunday)

Cough up for Toumani Diagouraga, says Brentford boss Dean Smith

Rangers will have to pay substantially more than £100,000 to prise Toumani Diagouraga from Brentford, the club’s manager has said. Dean Smith agreed that the Ibrox side were “way off” with their valuation of the player, who is desperate to join Mark Warburton in Glasgow.

“Until someone reaches the valuation of this club, there is nothing to talk about as far as I am concerned,” Smith said. (Scottish Sun on Sunday)

Sporting Lisbon’s Carlos Mane keen on Celtic move

Carlos Mane, the Sporting Lisbon winger, has expressed a willingness to make a move to Glasgow to play for Celtic. The 21-year-old was already on the Parkhead side’s radar in 2014, and the midfielder has invited speculation over his future after being omitted from Sporting’s squad to face Braga today.

“I know some clubs have asked about me. Celtic? I would not say no,” he said. “But at the moment I am only thinking about playing for Sporting and showing my true qualities.” (Scottish Sun on Sunday)

Leigh Griffiths an example to everyone, says John Collins

John Collins has praised Celtic striker Leigh Griffiths for his relationship with the fans and his rich goalscoring form, the latter which Ronny Deila’s number two has put down to the Scotland striker’s hard work in the training ground over the last year.

“It’s goalscorers the fans fall in love with, guys who burst the back of the net,” said Collins. “They are the hardest ones to find, but we’ve got one in Leigh.” He added: “His appetite and enthusiasm are an example for everyone. Leigh doesn’t do rest – he wants to play every game.” (Scottish Sun on Sunday)