Celtic linked with moves for Marko Grujic and Libor Kozak; Hoops reps in Benfica scouting bid; Stubbs eyeing move for Michael McGovern plus the SPFL’s League Cup revamp
Celtic face competition for Grujic
CELTIC face stiff competition from Liverpool and Everton for Red Star Belgrade midfielder Marko Grujic, according to reports.
Liverpool scouts watched Grujic score in a 7-2 win over Cukaricki at the weekend and reportedly held talks with the 6ft 3in Serbia U21 star, who is contracted at Red Star until 2018.
But with Celtic and Everton both keen on the 19-year-old, Liverpool may move to tempt Grujic to Anfield in January. (Various)
McGovern linked with Hibs move
ALAN Stubbs is understood to be keen on bringing Hamilton goalie Michael McGovern to Easter Road, with the Northern Irish No 1 out of contract in the summer.
The 31-year-old has been in inspired form for Martin Canning’s side this season, and is likely to attract attention from other clubs.
Hibs handed current first-choice goalie Mark Oxley a two-year deal in the summer, with ex-Kilmarnock and Ross County shot-stopper Tony Reguero as back-up. (Scottish Sun)
Ronny Deila watches Libor Kozak ahead of potential bid
CELTIC could be be on the brink of a renewed bid to bring Libor Kozak north of the Border after Ronny Deila watched the Czech striker score twice in Aston Villa U21’s win over Derby County at Villa Park last night.
Kozak came close to joining Celtic in the summer but decided against a move to Scotland.
However, his lack of first-team opportunities at Villa could change his mind, with Gabby Agbonlahor, Rudy Gestede and Scott Sinclair all preferred ahead of the 26-year-old in attack. (Birmingham Mail)
Hoops reps undertake Benfica scouting missions
SCOUTS from Celtic have watched four Benfica matches this season, with left-back Eliseu one possible target.
The 32-year-old’s contract runs out in July 2016, although Benfica have the option of a further year. Since joining Benfica in 2014 however, he has made just 32 appearances, scoring four goals.
Celtic scouts have watched Benfica’s victories over Galatasaray, Academica, Belenenses and Estoril. (O Jogo)
Warburton ‘staying to finish project’ at Ibrox
RANGERS goalkeeper Wes Foderingham has revealed that Mark Warburton has told his players that he is staying at Ibrox, despite speculation linking the ex-Brentford boss with a return to England.
Warburton has been linked with both Fulham and Swansea but Foderingham said he told his players: “He said he is here to stay, and that he wants to see out the project.
“He can’t ask us to come up here [Ibrox] and commit if we are not going to do the same, so it was good for him to say that.” (Various)
Bullard ‘regrets’ not signing for Celtic
JIMMY Bullard has revealed his “regret” at not signing for Celtic in 2010.
The former Fulham and Wigan midfielder was close to joining the Parkhead club on loan from Hull City.
But the potential move fell through when Bullard decided to stay before eventually joining Ipswich the next year.
Bullard told Celtic TV: “It’s probably my only regret in football because I’d have loved to play here.” (The Scotsman)
SPFL unveils League Cup revamp
SPFL bosses have unveiled radical changes to the League Cup, with competitive football in July, group stages and the scrapping of extra time with drawn matches going straight to penalties.
The winter break will also return to Scottish football while Scottish clubs wuill share in an £8 million BT Sport TV deal lasting four years. (The Scotsman)
Lennon quits as Wasps boss
DANNY Lennon has unexpectedly quit as manager of Alloa, with the Wasps anchored to the foot of the Championship.
Having picked up just five points in 16 matches, Lennon has quit to give a new manager the chance to make changes in the January transfer window.
Formerly St Mirren manager, Lennon took over at Alloa last season and saved them from relegation. But the Wasps are currently six points behind Livingston, who have a game in hand. (BBC)
Rangers ‘spooked,’ claims Stubbs
HIBS boss Alan Stubbs claims Rangers are spooked by Hibs, with just three points between the two sides at the summit of the Championship.
Responding to claims from Ibrox that the Gers are focused on their own title race, Stubbs said: “You can deny things as much as you want.
“But if I was at the top and Rangers were this close to us, I would be well aware of them.” (Daily Record)
Stubbs has ‘unfinished business’ at Hibs
STUBBS also poured cold water on talk linking him with a return to England, insisting he has unfinished business at Hibs.
The former Celtic and Everton defender said: “I’m not going to lie, I want to manage at the top level.
“But this is a brilliant job at the moment and I haven’t achieved anything.” (Scottish Sun)
NEWS IN BRIEF
• Ajax ambassador Ronald de Boer has ruled out a return to Ibrox despite insisting ‘nowhere is the welcome warmer than at Rangers’
• Swansea City have made a £200k bid for Falkirk midfielder Ryan Blair. The Swans have already taken Jay Fulton, Botti Biabi and Stephen Kingsley from the Bairns
• Colin and Christine Weir were among investors who helped Partick clear their debt, it has been revealed