Football news: Rangers make another signing, Celtic star commits for 'many more years', Scot on target in Champions League

A round-up of all today’s football headlines from Scotland and beyond ...

Livi boss excited by new arrival Teto

Livingston boss David Martindale is excited about incoming attacker Aphelele Teto after spotting him by chance in Turkey. The Livi staff came across the 20-year-old TS Galaxy player when they shared a training complex with the South African outfit during the break for the World Cup. Teto will arrive at the West Lothian club on Thursday to finalise a four-year deal. Martindale said: “We were over in Turkey and TS Galaxy were training on the park next to us. The staff would always get there earlier than the players to set up the drills and we used to sit and watch TS Galaxy training and this wee kid was unbelievable. And then we watched TS Galaxy against Giresunspor who are in the Turkish Super League and wee Teto was fantastic, honestly, he was brilliant. He brought a smile to your face so I kept in touch with the people at TS Galaxy and over the summer I asked about the chances of getting the boy in so we struck up a deal where there is no upfront fee. It is a win-win, we are going to put one of their players in the shop window.”

Maeda eager to give Celtic ‘many more years’

Defender Leon Balogun has rejoined Rangers on a one-year contract. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)Defender Leon Balogun has rejoined Rangers on a one-year contract. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
Defender Leon Balogun has rejoined Rangers on a one-year contract. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Daizen Maeda wants to “share the joy and happiness” with Celtic fans again as he looks to build on last season’s success. The tireless Japan forward signed a new four-year deal earlier this month – testament to the success he has enjoyed in Glasgow since arriving from Japanese side Yokohama F.Marinos at the start of 2022. Maeda has scored 19 goals in 71 appearances – including a goal on his debut against Hibernian at Celtic Park – and has won four trophies, including last season’s historic domestic treble.

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Added to that, the 25-year-old’s family have adapted well to life in Scotland and, speaking to Celtic TV, he said: “It is amazing to be able to play for Celtic for many more years I would like to share the joy and happiness with the supporters and have more success again. I can’t live in a place where my family doesn’t settle well. Fans and supporters in the city and at the nursery for my kids have helped us a lot, so now we feel that the city is very comfortable to live.”

Meanwhile, Celtic have announced a friendly against Wolves in Dublin. Rodgers’ side, after their trip to Japan, will face the Premier League side at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday, July 29, with a 2pm kick-off.

Defender excited to be ‘coming home’ as Rangers make another signing

Leon Balogun felt he was “coming home” after re-signing for Rangers on a one-year deal to become Michael Beale’s seventh summer recruit. The 35-year-old centre-back won the cinch Premiership and Scottish Cup during two seasons at Ibrox before he joined QPR in 2022. Balogun’s arrival on a one-year deal – subject to international clearance – comes after the Ibrox club confirmed defender Leon King would be out for a significant period of time with an ankle injury. After joining the Gers squad in their Germany training camp, the Nigeria international told the club’s official website: “I am just excited to be honest. It is still a bit unreal but it is very real, so I am just really, really happy to be back at Rangers – it feels like coming home. Since I have left, I have always felt a lot of appreciation and love from friends I have made in Glasgow and around the club and now that I am back, it is nice to say the least. I know second is no option, I know what people are going to say very quickly if we are not performing so it is time to get to work, put our best foot forward and make sure we get the results that we need.”

Southampton sign midfielder from Man City

Southampton have signed Northern Ireland midfielder Shea Charles from Manchester City on a four-year deal understood to be worth up to £15million. The 19-year-old, who made his Premier League debut on the final day of last season, is new Saints boss Russell Martin’s second summer signing. “Shea is a very talented, intelligent and mature young player with great potential to develop his game with us,” Martin said. “He has been well schooled at Manchester City, coming through an elite Academy all the way to the first team. We’ve watched him closely and we’re confident he’s got the right attributes to help us in the way we’re going to play.”

Scot on target in Champions League qualifier

The New Saints’ hopes of progressing in the Champions League were dealt a blow after a 3-1 defeat to BK Hacken in Gothenburg. They were 2-0 down inside the opening 13 minutes of their first qualifying round first leg courtesy of goals from Ibrahim Sadiq and Mikkel Rygaard. The Welsh Premier League champions got themselves back into the game with Scottish striker Declan McManus, formerly of Aberdeen Raith Rovers, Dunfermline and Falkirk, powering home a 32nd-minute header from Jordan Williams’ cross. However, within five minutes, Even Hovland re-established the hosts’ two-goal cushion after a long VAR check.

Mason Mount makes debut in Man Utd friendly

Mason Mount made his Manchester United debut as Erik ten Hag’s side began their pre-season schedule with a 2-0 win against Leeds in Oslo. The 24-year-old, who made a £55million move from Chelsea last month, played the first 45 minutes and impressed in flashes during a quiet first period. Ten Hag’s starting XI was a combination of youth and experience, with Lisandro Martinez, Raphael Varane and Jadon Sancho joined by young prospects such as Kobbie Mainoo and Omari Forson. Tributes were paid before kick off to former Scotland, Manchester United and Leeds defender Gordon McQueen, who died aged 70 last month following his battle with dementia.

Kyle Lafferty signs for Scottish seventh-tier side

Former Rangers and Hearts striker Kyle Lafferty has signed a two-year deal with Scottish seventh-tier side Johnstone Burgh. The 35-year-old, who has 89 caps for Northern Ireland, has followed former Ibrox team mate Graham Dorrans to the West of Scotland League First Division outfit. Lafferty has had a nomadic career since making his first-team debut for Burnley in 2005, playing in Switzerland, Turkey, Italy, Norway, Cyprus and, most recently, Northern Ireland with NIFL Premiership outfit Linfield, whom he joined after leaving Kilmarnock. Johnstone Burgh manager Jamie McKim said: “I’m delighted Kyle has chosen to join us. We met him several times to try and sell the project to him and I’m delighted that he has bought into it. He will be huge on and off the pitch for us this season and I can’t wait to see him in action with his team-mates.”

Spain defender joins Aston Villa from Villarreal

Aston Villa have completed the signing of defender Pau Torres from Villarreal. The 26-year-old, who has been capped 23 times for Spain, moves to Villa Park for an undisclosed fee after agreeing a five-year deal. He links up again with Villa boss Unai Emery who he played under for the Yellow Submarine. Torres won the Europa League in 2021 – under Emery – and helped Villarreal reach the semi-finals of the Champions League a year later. He becomes Villa’s second summer signing after the arrival of former Leicester midfielder Youri Tielemans on a free transfer.

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Premier League defender charged with breaches of betting rules

Nottingham Forest defender Harry Toffolo has been charged with misconduct over 375 alleged breaches of Football Association betting rules. The charge relates to a period stretching from January 2014 to March 2017 while the now 27-year-old was a Norwich player, but also had loan spells at Swindon, Rotherham, Peterborough and Scunthorpe. Toffolo has until Wednesday, July 19 to respond. Toffolo joined Premier League Forest from Huddersfield in July last year after two and a half years with the West Yorkshire club. He made 21 senior appearances, including nine league starts, for the newly-promoted club last season as they retained their top-flight status.



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