Mike Ashley demands another EGM and his £5m loan repaid; Stefan Scepovic set for crunch talks with Celtic over his Hoops future and Bolton enter race to sign John Guidetti
Mike Ashley wants £5m loan repaid
NEWCASTLE owner Mike Ashley has demanded another Rangers EGM amid reports he wants the club to repay him his £5 million loan.
The Sports Direct chief, who met with Paul Murray and John Gilligan at his Derbyshire base prior to a police search at Shirebrook, has also demanded a full explanation into the club’s delisting from the AIM Stock Exchange.
And Ashley has proposed resolutions which would force the new Ibrox regime to hand back a £5m loan in exchange for security over the club’s badge, Murray Park and Albion Street car park and Edmiston House.
A source close to Ashley told the Record: “This is a message to Dave King and his associates to put up or shut up. The board and the fans own more than half of the Rangers shares, so they have the power to vote this through - if they have the money.
“All they have to do is find the £5 million that he gave them in January and he will release security on the various brands, Murray Park, the car park and Edmiston House.” (Daily Record)
Celtic linked with Motherwell’s Lee Erwin
CELTIC have been linked with a summer move for Motherwell forward Lee Erwin.
The Hoops are reportedly turning their attentions to home-grown talent, after the success of Gary Mackay-Steven and Stuart Armstrong.
And now the Fir Park striker could follow them through the Parkhead entrance, with the 21-year-old catching the eye after an impressive end to the Scottish Premiership campaign. (The Sun)
Ladbrokes set to win SPFL sponsor deal
LADBROKES are the favourite to land the SPFL sponsorship deal, seeing off competition from BetFred, according to The Sun.
A deal was reportedly struck after talks, with a source saying it was the ‘biggest ever deal of its kind in Scottish football.’
Expected to be a two-year contract, an announcement is likely to be made later today at Hampden. (The Sun)
Scepovic set for talks over future
STEFAN Scepovic’s agent will head to Parkhead for crunch talks over the striker’s future as the Serb’s future hangs in the balance.
The £2.3m signing from Sporting Gijon has failed to make an impact in Glasgow, starting seven games and making 16 sub appearances and being overshadowed by the form of John Guidetti and Leigh Griffiths.
His measly return of four goals has led to concern, with manager Ronny Deila admitting the player is still a ‘project’.
Scepovic’s agent told the Daily Mail: “If all parties felt that a move would be the best thing, then I have no doubt there would be options for Stefan. He has a good reputation in Spain.
“But I don’t know if that is the situation. ‘It is too early. Everything will depend on what the club want to do and how the player feels.” (Daily Mail)
Bolton in for Guidetti
NEIL Lennon could be poised to make a summer move for John Guidetti, according to reports in the Netherlands.
De Telegraaf is reporting that Bolton will offer a contract to the Swede ahead of this summer’s transfer window, with the striker unlikely to stay at Celtic and Feyenoord’s interest seemingly cooling.
The 23-year-old hit 11 goals in his first 12 matches, but has netted just four times in 23 games since November. (De Telegraaf)
Swansea join race for van Dijk
SWANSEA have become the latest club linked with a summer move for Celtic stopper Virgil van Dijk.
The Swans join Arsenal, Tottenham, Sunderland, Southampton, Sevilla, Hamburg and Newcastle - also linked with Jason Denayer - in expressing an interest in the Dutch defender. (Various)
Fridjonsson in dark over Celtic future
FORGOTTEN Celtic striker Holmbert Fridjonsson has called on Celtic to clarify his future - just over a year after signing a four-year deal at Parkhead.
The Icelandic Under-21 international has been on loan at Brondby, with fellow Parkhead forward Teemu Pukki, but has been dogged by injury.
Fridjonsson - yet to make a first-team appearance for the Hoops - said: “There is not much talk at the moment and I don’t know if it’s because I have been injured.
“It’s a bit difficult because I do not know my future, and I wish that I knew if I should be here [Brondby], Celtic or elsewhere next season.
“I might return to Celtic, but I do not know for sure. I need to talk to the manager about it.
“It was Neil Lennon, who picked me up, and now there is a new manager who I have not spoken much with.” (Evening Times)
Holt set to leave Tynecastle for Sheffield
JASON Holt is set to leave Tynecastle after more than a decade at the club, with Sheffield United the likely destination.
Hearts will be due compensation for the winger, who has been at the Jambos since he was nine years old.
A provisional deal has reportedly been agreed between Hearts and the Blades, with a handful of other clubs south of the Border keeping an eye on the situation in case it changes. (Various)
Oxley focused on Hibs, not Hull
HIBS goalkeeper Mark Oxley is only concerned with helping the Easter Road side win promotion and not events at parent club Hull.
The Tigers look set to drop out of the Premier League, with Hull having to face Tottenham and Manchester United in their final two games.
But Oxley said: “I’ve watched Match of the Day and it’s good to see when Hull are doing well but I’m playing for Hibs and that’s my concern.
“I’ll be looking to focus on ourselves because if you look at anything else that’s when you can take your mind of stuff. I’ve been in positions before during the season where you look at other results but you have to look after yourself.” (Daily Record)
Blackpool and Barnsley lead chase for Balatoni
BOTH Blackpool and Barnsley are leading the chase for Partick Thistle defender Conrad Balatoni.
It is understood that Balatoni will turn down a new deal at Firhill, and could move south of the Border, following former Jags team-mate Aaron Taylor-Sinclair. (Various)
NEWS IN BRIEF
• Aberdeen have extended the contract of highly-rated Croatian defender Lukas Culjak
• Martin O’Neill insists Adam Rooney deserves his Ireland call-up despite not impressing Roy Keane
• Motherwell owner Les Hutchison has said the Steelmen won’t cut their budget next year - even if they are relegated
• Tommy Wright has called for plastic pitches to be banned from Scottish football’s top flight