Riyad Mahrez reveals he borrowed a bike to escape St Mirren trial; Dermot Desmond reportedly wants Roy Keane to replace Ronny Deila and Martyn Waghorn claims Leicester and Rangers have followed the same blueprint for success
Mahrez ‘stole bike to escape St Mirren trial’
LEICESTER City talisman Riyad Mahrez has revealed that he stole a bicycle to escape a trial at St Mirren - because he couldn’t handle the physical nature of the Scottish game and the snowy weather.
The Algerian ace, who could win the title with the Foxes on Sunday, had a 10-week trial with the Buddies around 2007, but cut it short.
The 25-year-old recalled: “It went well at first... I played four friendly matches and scored seven goals. But they made me wait for two and a half months. Scotland drove me crazy. It was cold and physical.
“I felt I had progressed enough but I wasn’t able to leave. So I left in secret. I borrowed a bike from a guy at the hotel and packed my bags without telling anyone.” (Various)
Desmond wants Keane for Celtic
CELTIC shareholder Dermot Desmond reportedly wants Roy Keane in the Parkhead hotseat to replace Ronny Deila.
With the Norwegian set to depart in the summer, Celtic are lining up a replacement - with David Moyes, Paul Lambert, Nigel Pearson and Brendan Rodgers among those linked with the top job.
But reports suggest Desmond has his heart set on ex-Hoops midfielder Keane, currently Republic of Ireland assistant to former Celtic manager Martin O’Neill. (Scottish Sun)
Rangers and Leicester share blueprint, says Waghorn
RANGERS striker Martyn Waghorn reckons there are more than a few similarities between the Ibrox side and former club Leicester, as he praised the Foxes for their incredible season.
Waghorn said: “You could see in the last year I was [at Leicester] that the foundations were being set at the club.
“It just needed the right man to provide the finishing touches and I think they’ve got that now. It’s like [Rangers]. We’ve both got a small, close-knit squad built on hard work, desire and fighting for each other.” (Evening Times)
Deila backs Collins for Celtic
OUTGOING Celtic boss Ronny Deila believes John Collins should be regarded as a credible candidate to replace him in charge of the Hoops.
Deila believes both Collins and coach John Kennedy are capable of playing a key role in taking Celtic forward.
“They could follow up a lot of the things we have started,” said Deila. “John Collins has references on a level that not a lot of people in Scotland have had for many years.
“He has been unbelievably important for me and has so much to offer. He is different from a lot of people in Scotland – he dares to speak and say what he means.” (The Scotsman)
Celtic to carry Magners logo on back of shirt
CELTIC have announced that Magners will appear on the back of their shirts as speculation mounts that the club could carry a different sponsor on the front.
Peter Lawwell confirmed this week that after months of speculation over the future of the sponsorship deal on the famous green and white hoops, Magners have agreed a new deal with the club.
But with no confirmed front-of-shirt sponsorship deal, speculation persists that betting company Dafabet could take on a major sponsorship deal with Celtic. (The Scotsman)
Tannadice atmosphere ‘toxic’, admits Mixu
MIXU Paatelainen has admitted the atmosphere at Tannadice is ‘toxic’ as relegation looms – and says he can understand why some are questioning whether he has a future at the club.
Paatelainen said: “When a club is in the position that we are that’s always the case. There’s a lot of toxic in the air. It’s natural but it’s not nice.
“It hurts. Do you go into a corner and start crying? Or do you roll you sleeves up, make a plan, and fight to make things better? That’s the spirit from me.” (The Scotsman)
Old Firm clash makes top 3 of world’s top 50 derbies
THE Old Firm clash has been named as the third biggest derby in world football in a top 50 list compiled by FourFourTwo magazine - behind El Clasico in second and Boca Juniors vs River Plate.
The Glasgow showpiece was listed ahead of the Lazio/Roma derby and fiery rivalries such as Steaua Bucharest and Dinamo Bucharest and the Moscow derby.
The Edinburgh and Tayside derbies didn’t make the top 50. (FourFourTwo)
NEWS IN BRIEF
• Mark Warburton has admitted he has a job on his hands to improve Rangers’ image in England - as most people still view the club as ‘in distress’
• Hibs boss Alan Stubbs has called on Scottish football bosses to rethink the play-off format