Craig Whyte opens up about his takeover of Rangers; Celtic are reportedly closer to hanging onto John Guidetti and Ronny Deila concedes he’ll need to bolster his squad for the Europa League knockout rounds.
Whyte: Rangers were doomed BEFORE I took over
FORMER Rangers owner Craig Whyte has spoken out about his Rangers takeover, claiming the club was ‘already bankrupt’ by the time he bought it for £1.
Speaking to The Sun, Whyte - who was arrested in Mexico last month - claimed that administration was on the cards for Rangers before he came on the scene.
He said: “Rangers would have gone into administration, before I came along, they were taking insolvency advice.”
And Whyte maintains he is innocent of any crime, adding: “I know that I have done absolutely nothing wrong.
“What everyone forgets is I’m the only person in recent years who hasn’t taken a penny out of Rangers.
“All I did was step in to try to rescue a situation that was already way beyond. It was my intention to take it forward as a business and not to see it in the sorry state it is in at the moment.” (The Sun)
Cammy Bell: Players are backing McCoist
RANGERS goalkeeper Cammy Bell says that the players are rallying around Ally McCoist, and don’t want him to quit.
McCoist’s future as manager is in doubt after he tendered his resignation on Friday, but Bell has insisted the Rangers legend still has the dressing room.
Bell said: “The players are totally behind the gaffer, 100 per cent, and want him to stay. We want him to remain as manager now and in the future.” (Sunday Mail)
Celtic confident of securing Guidetti
CELTIC are confident of securing a deal that would see talismanic striker John Guidetti stay in Glasgow.
The Swedish striker, 22, has netted 11 goals in 13 matches for Celtic and Ronny Deila is keen to hang onto the on-loan Manchester City forward.
The Hoops agreed a deal with City bosses for a possible permanent move after the initial loan deal was made - and Celtic could pay a £2 million fee for Guidetti when the transfer window opens in three weeks time.
And, crucially, Guidetti is now eligible to play in the Europa League.
Deila said: “There has been some movement on Guidetti. We’re having a meeting with his representatives this week, so it’s moving along.
“There is no problem between us and Manchester City. It’s now about getting the player on board.” (Various)
Hoops look to bolster squad for Europe
RONNY Deila has revealed he has a list of players who he wants on board at Celtic, as he looks to strengthen his squad in January, but added: “I’ve always said that it’s much more secure to keep than to buy.”
Deila has brought in a number of players since taking over from Neil Lennon, including John Guidetti and Jason Denayer, but is keen to add ‘two or three’ more to supplement his squad.
With a deal to keep Guidetti at Celtic looking more and more likely, Deila is wary of adding quantity rather than quality.
He added: “It’s very exciting to get presents – but you don’t always get the presents you deserve. Sometimes it’s better to know what you have. That’s why it’s important we keep [John] Guidetti, [Jason] Denayer, [Virgil] Van Dijk, those type of players, for as long as possible.
“We know who we want on board, we have a list of players. It’s hard to say how many I’d like. But two or three players coming in would be good. If we can do that, I’d be happy.” (Scotland on Sunday)
Werder Bremen eye Tonev swoop
GERMAN outfit Werder Bremen could be set to pluck Aleksandar Tonev from Celtic by agreeing a deal with Aston Villa that would effectively cancel the Bulgarian’s loan spell with Celtic.
The Hoops took the winger on loan from Paul Lambert’s men in the summer, but an incident with Aberdeen defender Shay Logan during a match in September has seen Tonev’s loan spell blighted by Scottish FA appeals and a seven-match ban that the player and Celtic are currently appealing. (Sunday Mail)
Baraclough wants to win league with Motherwell
MOTHERWELL’s new manager Ian Baraclough isn’t targeting Scottish Premiership survival - he wants to win it.
The former Sligo Rovers boss watched Motherwell draw with Ross County at Fir Park yesterday, after being confirmed as new Fir Park gaffer in the morning.
And Baraclough said: “Short term my aim is to keep this club in the Premiership and there is more than enough to push us up the table.
“I want to win trophies. Why not at Motherwell? Why can’t we win the Premiership? You’ve got to think that otherwise you won’t achieve anything.” (Sunday Mail)
News in brief
• Jackie McNamara has demanded improvement from his team ahead of their clash with Celtic. The Tannadice club lost 2-0 to Aberdeen yesterday
• John Hughes has refused to blame his players after a 4-0 drubbing by Partick Thistle ended Inverness Caledonian Thistle’s unbeaten home run