Rangers installed as favourites to sign Will Griff; Brendan Rodgers keen to hang on to Stefan Johansen despite transfer talk and Oguchi Onyewu to hold talks with Rangers
Gers in for Will Grigg
RANGERS have been installed as favourites to sign Wigan forward Will Grigg.
The Gers, who have been linked with a string of forwards, could turn to the Northern Irishman to provide competition for Kenny Miller and Martyn Waghorn.
Grigg, who has also been linked with Celtic and Hull, netted 28 goals in all competitions last season. (HITC)
Rodgers keen to keep Stefan
BRENDAN Rodgers has said he would be happy to hang on to Stefan Johansen, as Galatasaray move in on the midfielder, but admitted that the club has to ‘protect itself’.
Johansen was the subject of a £1.1m bid from the Turkish side, with Celtic holding out for a fee closer to £1.5m. The Norwegian could earn £20,000 a week in Istanbul.
Rodgers added: “If a player clearly doesn’t want to be at a club and had a year to go, the market will tell you that you have to sell that player.” (Various)
Onyewu set for Gers talks
OGUCHI Onyewu is set to hold talks with Rangers over a potential contract, after impressing on trial during the Ibrox side’s pre-season trip to the United States.
The 34-year-old centre back played 66 minutes in two spells in the friendly against Charleston Battery, with Mark Warburton saying: “He has done well. He is a really experienced campaigner.
“He has played around the world and he has been a captain. It’s a tough one for us. We will chat as a coaching staff and go from there.” (The Scotsman)
Hibs bring in Laidlaw
HIBERNIAN have confirmed the signing of goalkeeper Ross Laidlaw on a one-year deal.
Laidlaw, 23, was most recently at Raith Rovers, where he has been a member of the squad since 2010.
Laidlaw featured 35 times for the Fife club, as well as making 14 appearances for Elgin City on loan in 2015. (The Scotsman)
Sparky nets double in Ljubljana
LEIGH Griffiths hit a spectacular double as Celtic beat fellow Champions League hopefuls Olimpija Ljubljana 2-1.
Griffiths struck in each half as he lined up alongside Moussa Dembele, who was playing his first pre-season match following his move from Fulham.
Midfield duo Stefan Johansen and Nir Bitton played amid interest in the pair from Galatasaray and Espanyol respectively. (Various)
Neilson praises Hearts history boys
ROBBIE Neilson praised his Hearts players after the Tynecastle club scored four away goals in Europe for the first time to beat the Estonian side Infonet 6-3 on aggregate.
Hearts won 4-2 in Tallinn last night to reach the Europa League second qualifying round, where they will meet Birkirkara of Malta.
But Neilson slammed Infonet’s Ofosu Appiah, after an overly robust challenge left ‘keeper Jack Hamilton needing stitches in a head wound. (Various)
Refs ‘can handle Old Firm clashes’
STEVEN McLean believes Scottish referees will rise to the challenge of handling the return of the country’s highest-profile league fixture this season.
The four-year absence of Rangers from the top flight means only two of the SFA’s current list of leading match officials – Craig Thomson and Willie Collum – have previous experience of taking charge of Old Firm games.
McLean, who refereed last season’s Scottish Cup final, said: “They are unique games, but we have a lot of experienced referees in the country who are used to officiating at big matches, both domestically and internationally.” (The Scotsman)
Shinnie impressed by Dons new boys
GRAEME Shinnie believes Derek McInnes’ summer signings have made Aberdeen stronger this season as they aim to make progress in the Europa League.
The former Caley Thistle left-back is determined to help the Pittodrie side make the group stages of the competition for the first time in nine years, and believes they can see off Fola Esch today.
Aberdeen have a 3-1 lead to take to Luxembourg after Niall McGinn – who hasn’t travelled with the squad – and Adam Rooney, from the penalty spot, both struck in injury time to add to Shay Logan’s opener. (Various)
Law exits Motherwell
MOTHERWELL right-back Josh Law has been allowed to leave Fir Park.
Law is halfway through a two-year contract but is understood to have asked to leave in order to be closer to his family in England.
His brother, former Rangers midfielder Nicky Law, recently rejoined Bradford City. (The Scotsman)
Hemmings ‘happy’ at Dundee
KANE Hemmings knows it will be harder this season to repeat his 25-goal haul for Dundee, but has insisted: “I don’t want it to be a one-season thing.”
And Hemmings - who has been linked with Aston Villa, Burton Albion, QPR and Derby - insists he is happy at Dens, adding: “I am getting playing time and scoring goals so why would I want to be moving anywhere?
“I’m not looking for a move but my form has brought speculation. There’s nothing I can do about that. It’s flattering but I don’t want to move. I am quite happy.” (Evening Telegraph)
Steelmen No 2 in Oldham talks
Motherwell assistant manager and Northern Ireland coach Steve Robinson is in advanced talks with Oldham Athletic over their managerial vacancy and looks set to take over at the Sky Bet League One club in the coming days.
Motherwell granted permission for Robinson to hold talks late last week. (The Scotsman)
NEWS IN BRIEF
• Celtic will take on Lincoln Red Imps in the Champions League qualifiers after the Gibraltar side saw off Estonian outfit Flora Tallinn
• Dundee are reportedly closing in on a central defender, with manager Paul Hartley hopeful of getting a new stopper in before next week