Rumour Mill: Michael O'Neill to Celtic? | Ajer hopeful of Celtic switch | Fan jailed over smoke bomb
Michael O'Neill linked with Celtic job as Ronny Deila insists he has the board's backing; Kristoffer Ajer still hopeful of Celtic switch and Motherwell fan jailed for setting off a smoke bomb during a match
Deila cool over O’Neill link
RONNY Deila has insisted he has the backing of the Celtic board, despite talk of the former Hibs and Dundee United midfielder replacing the Norwegian.
Deila saw his Hoops surrender any hopes of a domestic treble with defeat in the League Cup semi-final, but claims he is hungrier than ever for success.
Deila added: “I really believe the club has full faith in me and that the players are behind me. If we start to lose all our games then I will not be here but I am so confident we are going to win the league.” (Various)
Ajer hopeful over Celtic switch
START youngster Kristoffer Ajer hasn’t given up hope of joining Celtic, admitting that talk of a January move turned his head.
The towering 17-year-old added: “I admit there have been training sessions where I’ve been thinking about the move to Celtic a lot. A move would have been good but I’m happy here.”
Start boss Steinar Pedersen expects Ajer may move in the summer. (Daily Record)
Fan jailed over smoke bomb
A MOTHERWELL fan has been jailed after letting off a smoke bomb during a match with Hamilton.
Calum Smith was described in court as an “exemplary” young soldier but was criticised by a sheriff who said such “dangerous” actions were on the increase and must be treated seriously.
The 18-year-old was “masked and hooded” when he set off the flare at New Douglas Park in September 2015 and changed his clothes in a bid to avoid detection, but his actions were captured on CCTV and he was arrested. (The Scotsman)
Aird could join Whitecaps permanently
RANGERS youngster Fraser Aird could join Vancouver Whitecaps on a permanent basis if he shines during a season-long loan deal and revealed that Kenny Miller convinced him to make the move.
Miller had a spell with the Whitecaps between 2012 and 2014, netting 14 goals in 43 matches, and his contact with ‘Caps coach Carl Robinson helped push the deal through.
Aird has made over 80 appearances for the Gers but has struggled for game time under Mark Warburton. (Metro Vancouver)
Fontaine set to face Hearts
HIBS defender Liam Fontaine should be fit to face Hearts despite being subbed after just 12 minutes in yesterday’s 1-0 win over Morton at Cappielow.
The big defender was seen holding his thigh, but Alan Stubbs allayed fears that it was the ex-Bristol City stopper’s hamstring, adding that he expects Fontaine to be fit for the derby cup clash on Sunday. (Evening News)
Sergio opens up on Hearts exit
FORMER Hearts boss Paulo Sergio has revealed that he was keen to stay on at Hearts after their 5-1 Cup final win over Hibs - but said he was forced out after being offered less than 50 per cent of his salary to remain at Tynecastle.
The Portuguese manager said: “I was sure I would stay but after the cup final the people came to me with an offer less than half what I was earning. I couldn’t stay. I felt they were laughing in my face.”
Sergio also revealed he would consider bringing in Gary Locke as a coach in any future job he gets. The 47-year-old gaffer has taken charge of CFR Cluj, APOEL and Academica since leaving Hearts. (The Scotsman)
Hayes ‘bitten by dog’
ABERDEEN winger Jonny Hayes will play against Celtic tonight - despite needing 18 stitches in his hand after being attacked by a dog.
The Dons wide man is thought to have been out walking his own dogs when he stepped in to separate a fight.
And Dons boss Derek McInnes revealed Hayes had been treated by a Dr Barker. (The Scotsman)
Sow set for derby appearance
OSMAN Sow is expected to make the Hearts squad for the derby cup clash against Hibs despite flying out to China for a medical with new club Henan Jianye.
The Swedish forward, who is still in China finalising his move, is set to make his last appearance ‘as part of the deal’, Robbie Neilson revealed.
Hearts will also have fellow new signings John Souttar, Don Cowie and Abiola Dauda available. (Evening News)
NEWS IN BRIEF
• Alloa have signed former Rangers and Partick Thistle defender Ryyan Finnie on a deal until the end of the season
• Matthew Knox is staying at Livingston despite interest from the English Premier League’s big guns
• East Kilbride players will get a bonus of £5000 each if they can see off Celtic in the Scottish Cup
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