Celtic face a fight to land Scotland striker Steven Fletcher; Rangers step up interest in Walsall ace and Mike Ashley fails in legal challenge over SFA fine
Hoops face fight to land Fletcher
CELTIC will face competition from Hull City and Aston Villa for Scotland striker Steven Fletcher, who has been released by Sunderland.
The former Hibs and Burnley forward has long been linked with his boyhood heroes and after a loan spell at Marseille, is now a free agent and could be looking for a return north.
The Hoops turned down the chance to sign Fletcher from Hibs due to the £3m transfer fee, and tried to get him in under Neil Lennon, with wages proving the sticking point. (Daily Record)
Rangers step up Bradshaw interest
RANGERS have reportedly stepped up their interest in Walsall striker Tom Bradshaw.
The Ibrox side are on the lookout for a striker and were linked in January with Bradshaw, who is also a target for Preston, Birmingham, Reading, Burton Albion and Millwall.
The 23-year-old hitman scored 20 goals last season and will cost around £750,000, although Walsall boss Jon Whitney would prefer to keep the Welsh striker at the Bescot Stadium. (Daily Mail)
Ashley loses SFA legal bid
MIKE Ashley has failed in an attempt to overturn a Scottish FA fine over his influence at Ibrox.
The Sports Direct tycoon claimed that Scottish football’s governing body had made an ‘error of law’ when they slapped him with a £1000 fine.
A judicial panel at Edinburgh’s Court of Session ruled that Ashley had violated SFA rules over having an influence exceeding his 9 per cent shareholding with the club due to his majority stake at Newcastle. (Scottish Sun)
Lennon wants Cummings talks
NEIL Lennon has said he wants to sit down with striker Jason Cummings in a bid to convince him to stay at Hibs.
The striker has been linked with the likes of Rangers, Peterborough, Derby and Brighton but Lennon is keen to hold onto the colourful hitman along with talismanic midfielder John McGinn.
Lenon said: “John McGinn and Jason Cummings are excellent players who have just had terrific seasons. They are vital to what I want to do so I’d like to sit down and speak to the both of them. I’m hoping they will see things my way and want to stay for a while.” (Herald Scotland)
McCall ‘open to Bradford return’
STUART McCall has suggested that he would be open to returning to Bradford, after declaring himself ‘actively looking’ for a club to manage.
McCall - who led Rangers to the Scottish Premiership play-offs last season before losing to former club Motherwell - said this week: “I always said that Bradford was my club but at the wrong time.
“It’s certainly a different club now and I’m a different manager. I want to get hold of a team and believe I could be successful with them.” (Telegraph & Argus)
Payet goal hands France opening win
A STUNNER from Dimitri Payet gave France a 2-1 win over Romania in last night’s Euro 2016 opener.
Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud had given France the lead after Antoine Griezmann had hit the post with a header and Romania had a glorious chance inside the opening few minutes.
Gençlerbirliği star Bogdan Stancu levelled the scoreline with a 65th minute penalty before Payet’s curling effort in the 89th minute gave the hosts the victory. (Various)
Xhaka brothers to face off in Euro 2016 clash
ARSENAL new boy Granit Xhaka will face off against brother Taulant today in Albania’s Group A clash with Switzerland.
Both born in Switzerland, Granit chose to represent his country of birth while brother Taulant turns out for Albania thanks to his Kosovar-Albanian roots. (Telegraph)
Burley: There are no good Scots players any more
FORMER Scotland and Celtic midfielder Craig Burley has claimed there are no longer any good players for Scotland these days.
Burley, who scored in Scotland’s last appearance in a major tournament, said: “Frankly it’s almost reached the stage where you need Wikipedia to find out about the Scotland players.
“Stevie Nicol was doing the France v Scotland game the other week because we had it live, but he looked at the players in the squad and said: ‘who are they?’
“When I played for Scotland we considered ourselves good players but then Dalglish and Souness from the era before probably thought we were s****.” (Scottish Sun)
NEWS IN BRIEF
• Stefan Scepovic looks set to return to Sporting Gijon after spending last season on loan at Getafe
• Motherwell general manager Alan Burrows has been promoted to the role of Chief Operating Officer at Fir Park and as a result will join the board
• Rangers have confirmed that former Hibs and Kilmarnock midfielder Dean Shiels has left the club