Rumour Mill: Ranieri eyes Celtic stars| Hearts' Johnsen signing row| Rodgers eyes Turkish defender Kaldirim

Foxes boss Claudio Ranieri watching Celtic stars, signing row erupts between Hearts and CSKA Sofia, Celtic eye up Fenerbache defender and Rangers players told they must be more ruthless.

Hearts new signing Bjorn Johnsen arrives at Tynecastle. Picture: Hearts FC
Hearts new signing Bjorn Johnsen arrives at Tynecastle. Picture: Hearts FC

Claudio Ranieri has Celtic stars in his sights

Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri last night warned he could move for some of Brendan Rodgers’ Bhoys.

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The Italian will face Rodgers at Parkhead tonight in the International Champions Cup of Britain and let slip he has been tracking the Hoops’ top players for a year. (The Sun)

Celtic eye up move for Turkish international defender Hasan Ali Kaldirim

Celtic are lining up a potential swoop for Fenerbache full-back Hasan Ali Kaldirim.

Parkhead scouts are reportedly watching the 26-year-old Turkish international who is in his final year of his contract in Istanbul. (Various)

Hearts’ signing row erupts over Bjorn Johnsen

CSKA Sofia have threatened to report the Jambos to Fifa for luring away striker Bjorn Johnsen.

The Norwegian signed a three year deal with Hearts yesterday but the Bulgarian side claim Johnsen still has a contract with them.

Johnsen last played for Litex Lovech, who were merged with Chavdar Etropole and renamed CSKA.

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CSKA’s owner Grisha Ganchev then offered deals to the players on the books at Litex.

Ganchev now claims Johnsen is under contract with the new club who have just been relegated to the lower leagues after racking up a £15million debt.

In a statement CSKA’s lawyers said: “CSKA is ready to bring a claim to Fifa against Bjorn Johnsen and Hearts if the club’s interests are violated.” (The Sun)

Mark Warburton: Rangers must be more ruthless

Rangers manager Mark Warburton has insisted his side will have to be more ruthless in time for the start of Premiership season.

The Gers boss said his men should have put more than three past Lowland League side East Stirling in their BetFred Cup tie. (Daily Record)

New Hearts signing Bjorn Johnsen out to bridge gap between Hearts and Old Firm

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New signing Bjørn Johnsen hopes Hearts can build a lasting challenge to Celtic and Rangers this season after growing up watching Old Firm battles from afar.

The 24-year-old, who was born in the United States, holds dual American and Norwegian citizenship and began his career in Norway with Valerenga.

The towering 6ft5in striker said: “I want to be able to help out, with assists and not just goals, to help the team to win games and try to get up to the top of the league and push for it.

“This league is looking pretty tough right now. I know about Rangers, they’re just coming back, but it’s time for Hearts. We have high expectations and I want to fulfil those.” ( The Scotsman)

‘Devastated’ John McGinn backed by fellow Hibees

Dylan McGeouch has promised John McGinn his Easter Road team-mates will rally round and help him get over the heartbreak of the penalty miss which saw Hibs crash out of the Europa League. ( Evening News)

Celtic are “underdogs” for Astana clash, says Chris Sutton

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Former Celtic star Chris Sutton has warned Brendan Rodgers’ side not to underestimate FC Astana in their upcoming Champions League qualifer and insisted the Hoops will not be the favourites.

Sutton said: “FC Astana qualified for the group stages of the Champions League last season.

“They played three matches at home in their section against Benfica, Atletico Madrid and Galatasaray and didn’t lose one of them.

“Celtic didn’t make the group stages. Instead, they ended up in the group stages of the Europa League.

“They couldn’t win a game. At home or away.” (Daily Record)

John Rankin signs for Falkirk as Will Vaulks exits

Former Hibs and Dundee United player John Rankin has signed for Falkirk. The midfeilder has been training with the Bairns for several weeks having announced last season that he was leaving Tannadice.

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Meanwhile, midfielder Will Vaulks is on his way to Rotherham United after Falkirk “reluctantly accepted a substantial offer.” (The Scotsman)

Rangers MD Stewart Roberston poised to join the SPFL game board

Rangers are set to be represented on the Scottish Football Association professional game board this season.

Ibrox managing director Stewart Robertson is one of five representatives nominated by Scottish Professional Football League board, replacing Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell in the list. (Evening News)

Gary Harkins forced to train with Dundee youth.

Dark Blues defender Gary Harkins has been dropped from the first-team squad and told to train with the youth team.

The Evening Telegraph reported the 30-year-old was told at the end of last season he would no longer be welcome around the senior stars.

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Harkins was last week advised to find a new club, after being told he is no longer wanted by manager Paul Hartley, who is keen to slash one of the club’s top earners from the wage bill. (Evening Telegraph)


• Raith Rovers manager Gary Locke includes Rudi Skacel and Declan McManus in his squad that has travelled north to take on Ross County

• Partick thistle could be nine players down against visitors Queen of the South today. Jags boss Alan Archibald said: “We are facing an injury crisis ahead of plaing a strong side so it is not ideal.”

• Astana’s police force blasted the club’s fans after violent clashes before their Champions League game this week marred their win.