Rumour Mill: Celtic target Antonini | Diagouraga | Stubbs quit threat

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Celtic linked with Genoa defender Luca Antonini ahead of Qarabag tie; Rangers eye Brentford midfielder Toumani Diagouraga and Hibs feat Alan Stubbs ‘could quit’ if Scott Allan is sold

Celtic target Luca Antonini

CELTIC have been linked with Genoa defender Luca Antonini as Ronny Deila looks to strengthen his squad.

The 32-year-old full-back, primarily a left-back, was with Milan for five seasons before joining I Rossoblu in 2013. However, he found first-team football hard to come by last season and knocked back a move to Watford in January.

He has also had spells with Prato, Ancona, Empoli, Pescara, Arezzo and Siena. He has also had extensive experience in Europe and it is understood Celtic have enquired about Antonini’s availability. (Gazzetta dello Sport)

Ciftci ‘must start’ against Qarabag - Sutton

Luca Antonini, seen here scoring a goal against Juventus, is a target for Celtic. Picture: AFP

Luca Antonini, seen here scoring a goal against Juventus, is a target for Celtic. Picture: AFP

CHRIS Sutton believes Nadir Ciftci must start tonight against Qarabag as Celtic attempt to take a significant step towards the group stage of the Champions League.

However, the former Parkhead frontman is more concerned that his old team does not concede in order to have a better chance of completing the qualification job in Azerbaijan next week.

Leigh Griffiths has been in outstanding scoring form with five goals in the last three matches but Ronny Deila started Ciftci in both European matches so far against Icelanders Stjarnan. (The Scotsman)

Rangers linked with Toumani Diagouraga

RANGERS have been linked with a move for Brentford midfielder Toumani Diagouraga, according to reports.

However, the Gers will face competition from the likes of Leeds, Huddersfield and Fulham in a bid to tempt the French midfielder north of the Border. (The Scotsman)

Hibs tell Allan to forget Gers move

HIBS have told Scott Allan to forget joining Rangers in this window after the midfielder handed in a transfer request.

Rangers have already had two bids knocked back with Hibs categorically stating that Allan is not for sale.

A Hibs statement last night said: “Hibernian’s position has not changed. The player will not be sold to Rangers.” (The Sun)

Hibs fear Stubbs quit over Allan circus

HIBERNIAN are fearful that boss Alan Stubbs could quit if they cave to pressure and sell Scott Allan to Rangers.

Stubbs is adamant that Allan is going nowhere, and has been backed by chairman Rod Petrie, chief executive Leeann Dempster and head of football operations George Craig.

And it is understood that Stubbs is keen to sign Dylan McGeouch and John McGinn on the basis that they play alongside Allan. (Various)

Collum to handle Ajax clash

SCOTS whistler Willie Collum will be the man in the middle for Rapid Vienna’s Champions League qualifier against Ajax this evening.

Collum will be assisted by linesmen Damien McGrath (FA Ireland) and Frank Connor. John Beaton, who was headbutted as he reffed a match in Saudi Arabia, is the fourth official. (SFA)

News in brief

• Juwon Oshaniwa is set to complete his move to Hearts after securing a visa

• Derk Boerrigter faces uncertainty over his Celtic future and is ‘looking for other options’

• Derek McInnes is targeting an away goal in Kazakhstan as the Dons look to get past FC Kairat

• Inverness CT have offered a deal to Congo international Andrea Mbuyi-Mutombo after a trial period

• Kilmarnock have taken Arsenal left-back Elisa Chatzitheodoridis on trial

• Jackson Irvine, who completed a move to Ross County yesterday, could make his debut against former club Celtic

• Crystal Palace are rumoured to be looking to get rid of Barry Bannan after leaving the 25-year-old out of the squad’s pre-season trip to South Africa