Großkreutz linked with Celtic move
BORUSSIA Dortmund defender / midfielder Kevin Großkreutz could be heading for Glasgow as the 27-year-old accepts his future lies away from the Westfalenstadion.
The versatile player is not part of new manager Thomas Tuchel’s plans, and the self-confessed Hoops fan has suggested he may seek a move to the UK, with Celtic believed to be among his preferred options.
The Dortmund-born star has previously been pictured supporting Celtic at European ties. (Various)
Stubbs issues ‘hands-off’ warning to Gers
HIBS boss Alan Stubbs has issued an assurance that Scott Allan will not be sold to Rangers, in the wake of the Ibrox club antagonising their rivals with two bids intended to lure the talented midfielder along the M8.
He revealed he had called Rangers manager Mark Warburton on Thursday morning to appraise him of that fact and had hoped that would be an end to it.
Stubbs added: “No matter who you are, you don’t sell your best players, especially to your closest rivals.” (The Scotsman)
Qarabag ‘as good as Inter Milan’ warns Deila
RONNY Deila has warned his Celtic team that facing Qarabag won’t be an easy ride.
The Azerbaijani side reached the group phase of the Europa League last season, losing just twice in a section including Inter Milan, St Etienne and eventual finalists Dnipro.
Deila said: “Qarabag are a very good team. They beat Twente Enschede in the Europa League play-off round last season and then did well in the group as well.
“So we have to be at the top of our game to win the tie. It’s a difficult draw for us but you can’t think like that. We have to take what is coming in front of us. We need to be at the level we showed against Inter Milan last season to get through.” (The Scotsman)
Izaguirre still in my plans, insists Deila
RONNY Deila has insisted left-back Emilio Izaguirre is still part of his plans, despite replacing the Honduran with Charlie Mulgrew for the second leg against FC Stjarnan in Iceland.
Izaguirre, who struggled against the Icelandic champions in the first leg, made way for utility man Mulgrew, who netted in the 4-1 second-leg victory. (Daily Record)
McGinn to the rescue as Dons down Rijeka
NIALL McGinn http://www.scotsman.com/sport/football/spfl/aberdeen-2-2-rijeka-niall-mcginn-to-the-rescue-1-383968 after his goal and Jonny Hayes’ strike extinguished any hopes Rijeka had of a famous comeback.
The Croatian side had caused concern when they took the lead on 58 minutes and set alarm bells ringing when they doubled their lead just four minutes later.
But McGinn’s goal and Hayes’ equaliser on the night gave the Dons an impressive 5-2 aggregate win and a clash against Kairat Almaty of Kazakhstan. (The Scotsman)
Caley Thistle’s Euro dream over after Giurgiu draw
INVERNESS Caley Thistle’s Europa League adventure withered and died in the fearsome heat of Romania’s border country but the team’s refusal to wilt in spirit and desire through the closest of 90 minutes will surely be the enduring memory.
Backed by a strong travelling support of around 500, the Highlanders were facing a 1-0 deficit - and away goal hurdle - from the first leg, after Constantin Budescu’s strike in Inverness.
Although Astra had been tanked 5-1 by rivals Targu Mures between the two legs, ICT were unable to break through the stubborn defence, with efforts from Aaron Doran and Ryan Christie their best chances.
News in brief
• Romanian side FC Botosani trolled opponents Legia Warsaw last night - by dressing their ballboys in Celtic kits
• Scots youngster Jack Harper is hopeful his switch from Real Madrid to Brighton can boost his Scotland chances
• Motherwell are still on the hunt for a back-up goalkeeper after ex-Leeds shot-stopper Dan Atkinson failed to win a deal at Fir Park
• St Johnstone boss Tommy Wright has urged his young stars to force their way into his starting XI after being impressed by Scott Brown and Liam Caddis