Rumour Mill: Celtic in EPL | Rangers | Hearts

Celtic Park. Jose Mourinho has given his backing to Celtic in the Premier League. Picture: SNSCeltic Park. Jose Mourinho has given his backing to Celtic in the Premier League. Picture: SNS
Celtic Park. Jose Mourinho has given his backing to Celtic in the Premier League. Picture: SNS
JOSE Mourinho wants Celtic in the English Premier League, Rangers will need to spend £30m to challenge for the Premiership title in two years time plus Hearts new boy Paul McCallum on why Andy Carroll is his inspiration

Bring Celtic to English Premier, says Mourinho

CHELSEA boss Jose Mourinho has called for Celtic to be added to the English Premier League, insisting: “They would bring something special to the league.”

Both the Hoops and Rangers have explored the possibility of moving down to England, but have repeatedly had their dreams quashed by English club bosses.

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But the ‘Special One’ believes Celtic would be a great addition to a revamped top flight.

He said: “They are a big club, with a big support and a famous history. When I have been in England I have asked my colleagues why Celtic are not playing in the Premier League.

“They had a strong run last season in the Champions League, but they will always be limited because competition does not seem to be there for them up in Scotland.”

And Mourinho - who managed the Porto team that defeated Celtic 3-2 in the UEFA Cup final in Seville - refused to rule out managing the Parkhead side, adding: “Would I manage them? You never know what can happen in football.” (The Sun)

‘We need to spend £30m on squad to challenge for title’ - McCoist

ALLY McCoist has admitted that Rangers need around £30 million if they are to challenge for the Scottish Premiership title in two years.

The Rangers boss believes that there needs to be investment in the squad along with boardroom stability if the club are to challenge.

He added: “It’s difficult to put a figure on how much investment we need. But if you lose in the region of £30m worth of players as we did because of administration - players like Nikica Jelavic, Steven Davis, Allan McGregor, Steven Whittaker and all those boys - then I would think that standard of player needs to get replaced.

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“I’m not saying £30m is the exact figure, but that’s roughly what we’ve lost. But my point is that you can’t lose that, not replace it and then expect to compete at the top level.”

McCoist also revealed his wish for the club’s scouting network to be reinstated. (The Scotsman)

Gary Locke ‘won’t be replaced by Craig Levein’

HEARTS manager Gary Locke’s job is safe for the time being, according to reports. There had been rumours that the Tynecastle boss would be shown the door in favour of Craig Levein, but the Daily Record are reporting that no decision has been made on his future.

Locke’s contract is up at the end of the season, and there was speculation that new owner Ann Budge was preparing to appoint former Hearts and Scotland gaffer Levein.

David Southern met with Locke yesterday to discuss the situation, with reports Locke has drawn up a blueprint for improving the quality of the Hearts squad as well as maintaining their youth set-up.

Foundation of Hearts chairman Ian Murray denied a decision had been made over Locke’s future, adding: “Nothing has been decided yet. Ann has to get inside the club and assess the contributions being made there.

“But we also have to take one step at a time. A deal has to be concluded before the club exits administration. All will be resolved in due course.” (Daily Record/Scotsman)

Hearts new boy McCallum looks to Andy Carroll for inspiration

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HE had to Google Hearts before he joined on a loan deal until the end of the season, but Paul McCallum is up for the fight at the Tynecastle club, revealing that he models his game on England international Andy Carroll.

McCallum - who missed the first penalty in Hearts’ League Cup semi final shoot-out with Inverness CT - said: “I trained with Andy a couple of times. He is a big, big presence at West Ham. I look up to him because he is the same sort of player I am. He’ll come up to us on the training ground and give us advice.”

Like Carroll, McCallum is a tall, powerful centre forward, who is relishing the new experience at Tynecastle, adding: “It is a great opportunity to come and play in the top flight in Scotland.

“I whacked Heart of Midlothian into Google. I looked at the league table and I saw they only had two points from 23 games. I was like: ‘Woah! What’s going on there?’ I didn’t know they were in administration.

“So I carried on searching and I discovered what had happened. And then I thought it was even more of an opportunity for me to come and do well.” (Evening News)

News in brief

• St Mirren midfielder Gary Teale’s future is in doubt after an injury-ravaged season. The 35-year-old expected to be out for two weeks after a routine injection but spent four months on the sidelines, and although he has a clause in his contract entitling him to a new 12-month deal if he plays a certain number of matches, that looks to be hanging by a thread

• Dundee United loan defender Curtis Good will come up against an old pal in Jackson Irvine when the Terrors take on Kilmarnock this afternoon

• Former Hibs and Celtic striker Derek Riordan has signed a deal with Alloa until the end of the season

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• Michael Nelson has revealed that after Hibs’ cup exit to Raith, he and captain Liam Craig swapped ideas on how to improve the team via text, with the stopper vowing to help Hibs back to winning ways against Ross County today

• Kris Boyd has hinted that the arrival of Alexei Eremenko might convince him to stay at Rugby Park

• Charlie Mulgrew has voiced his concern that playing Champions League matches at Murrayfield won’t create the same electric atmosphere that Celtic enjoy at Parkhead