Napoli not put off by Tierney price tag; Inter not interested
Serie A giants Napoli would not baulk at the thought of shelling out £30 million for Celtic defender Kieran Tierney, according to Italian pundit and ex-Napoli star Salvatore Bagni.
The former Italian international said he “wouldn’t be surprised” if a deal taking the Scotland international to the Stadio San Paolo.
Napoli are likely to face competition from Arsenal, while Celtic are also keen to retain Tierney’s services. Reports linking him with Inter Milan are believed to be wide of the mark, however.
Tierney is due to undergo surgery this summer, ruling him out of Scotland’s next two Euro 2020 qualifiers. He is contracted to Celtic until the summer of 2023 so it would need to be a big fee to convince the Hoops to contemplate parting with the fans’ favourite. (Sunday Post)
Steven Gerrard reveals Old Firm chat with Brendan Rodgers
Steven Gerrard has claimed former Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers suggested Celtic were fearful of Rangers under the former Liverpool captain’s leadership.
The Ibrox boss revealed some details of a chat the two former Anfield figures had had in Dubai during the Scottish Premiership winter break, saying: “You’d have to ask Celtic if they fear us more now than they did before.
“But, speaking to Brendan in Dubai during the winter break, I certainly got that impression. Listening to their interviews, reading between the lines, I think there’s a lot more respect for Rangers now.”
We only have Gerrard’s word over this discussion, with Rodgers unlikely to confirm or deny his comments - or is it merely Gerrard’s version of Rodgers’ tale about the Rangers fan who approached him during a traffic jam to thank him for being a “breath of fresh air” in the Scottish game? (Sun on Sunday)
Rodgers’ U-turn on Benkovic
Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers has revealed he could send Croatian defender Filip Benkovic back to Celtic - if he sends the £13 million signing out on loan again.
Benkovic has spent the season with the Hoops, but the Scottish champions’ hopes of retaining the defender’s services next season looked bleak.
However, former Celtic manager Rodgers appears to have given his old club hope over a new loan deal next term - a huge boost given the expected departure of Dedryck Boyata during the summer.
The former Dinamo Zagreb centre-back has made 26 appearances for Celtic but has struggled with injury and has fallen out of favour since Neil Lennon took interim charge of the side.
However, the classy Croatian Under-21 cap could be a ready-made replacement for Boyata if a return is sanctioned - and if Celtic appoint a new permanent manager other than Lennon, that could also boost Benkovic’s minutes. (Sun on Sunday)
Weah open to Celtic return amid rumours PSG have transfer-listed striker
Timothy Weah hasn’t closed the door on a return to Celtic, despite his abrupt exit after interim boss Neil Lennon cut short his loan spell from French giants Paris Saint-Germain - because he opted to join up with the USA squad ahead of the Under-20 World Cup.
Weah hasn’t featured much under Lennon, and the 19-year-old was told to pack up his things and leave the Hoops after choosing country over club ahead of the Scottish Cup final.
But the American teenager said: “I have got a couple of options. Coming back to Celtic is definitely an option. The manager situation doesn’t matter to me. It’s more about the club and me feeling comfortable here.”
Should Weah return next season, he could feasibly end up playing under a third manager at Parkhead if Lennon isn’t appointed on a full-time basis. However, there are reports that Crystal Palace and Rennes are both keen on Weah.
A return to Celtic presumably depends on the next permanent manager, and what Weah feels is the best move for his career - at this stage, it will be all about game time for the American international. (Sun on Sunday / Sunday Mail)
Hibs head coach blasts ‘diving’ Kilmarnock defender
Hibs head coach Paul Heckingbottom took aim at Kilmarnock defender Alex Bruce, branding the centre-back a “f****** diver” after the Rugby Park side won a controversial penalty in the first half of their 1-0 win over the Easter Road side.
Not one for mincing his words, Heckingbottom - who also stated his team had been “rubbish” - took aim at his former Sheffield Wednesday colleague post-match.
The Hibs boss wasan’t alone in thinking the penalty award was the wrong call by referee Andrew Dallas, and told BBC Sport Scotland as much in his comments after the penultimate game of the season.
Bruce was doing his own media duties when the former Barnsley and Leeds boss voiced his opinion while walking past. (Scotland on Sunday)