Happy New Year to all you Rumour Mill readers, which of course means that the transfer window has swung open once again. Over the next month we’ll find out which of the tabloid tales - if any - had any substance, and of course, we’ll discover which - if any - of Nikica Jelavic’s 87 suitors (the latest is Atletico Madrid, according to the Mail) will be successful in luring the Croatian striker away from Ibrox.
In anticipation of the prolific net-finder’s probable exit, the Record splashes today with a report that Rangers boss Ally McCoist is considering a surprise move to bring Nacho Novo back to the SPL. The Spaniard, who left Scotland to join Sporting Gijon 18 months ago, trained in Glasgow with his former side over Christmas, and it is understood that McCoist sounded him out over a possible return. Any movements are likely to be determined after the manager meets owner Craig Whyte today to hear how much cash he’ll have at his disposal.
It’s also been reported that McCoist is closing in on signing Honduran internationals Jerry Bengtson and Jorge Claros, a pair he was alerted to in November. While the Mail reports that a representative of their club, Motagua, is in Glasgow to close the deal, McCoist has yet to decide if they’re up to the particular challenges of the SPL.
Despite tabloid murmurings last week that Rangers had all but signed Scotland international Graham Dorrans, that would appear to be a non-starter, if his manager at West Brom is to be believed. Asked about the possible move for the midfielder, Roy Hodgson simply said: “No, I’m not interested.” On the Jelavic front, the Baggies boss admitted his interest in the striker but added: “I don’t think our name is at the top of the list of candidates.”
Meanwhile, Rangers youngster Thomas Bendickson could sign for Tromso today, according to the Sun. The 22-year-old Norwegian midfielder has been offered a contract by McCoist but has yet to sign it, saying that any decision will be made on the grounds of gaining more playing time.
English-born right-back Scott Sutter, who plays for amusingly-named Swiss outfit Young Boys, is being tracked by Rangers scouts for a loan move this month, the Sun reports. His representatives are in talks with a Bundesliga side and two Championship teams, but he could be swayed by the fact that he supported the Glasgow club as a kid.
Over at Parkhead, Celtic midfielder Beram Kayal has bemoaned his latest injury, which he says will keep him out of action for “three to four weeks”. The Israeli international said: “That’s football. There are ups and downs. This year, I will do all I can to stay fit in the final games of the season and take the title with Celtic.”
Kayal’s team-mate, Charlie Mulgrew, has been backed for a Scotland call-up in 2012 by Parkhead assistant manager Johan Mjallby. The Swede described the versatile player’s form as “a sensation”.
As Edinburgh prepares to shake off the Hogmanay hangover with its New Years derby today, former Hearts boss Jim Jefferies has called on Jambos fans to lay off his former assistant Billy Brown, now at Hibs. “The Hearts fans know what went on and with Mr Romanov’s track record I’m sure they are not going to blame Billy,” he told the Record.
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