Ex-Rangers owner Craig Whyte arrested in Mexico; Ronny Deila to offer Kris Commons short term deal only; Celtic to land four players should the make the last 32 and more in Thursday’s Rumour Mill
Ex-Rangers owner Craig Whyte arrested in Mexico
Craig Whyte is understood to have been arrested in Mexico following a major police raid.
Two international arrest warrants had been issued for the disgraced business man over the past few weeks, prompting police to engage in a major operation to track him down.
Home Office sources have confirmed that Whyte, 43, who is understood to have been living in the central American country for several months, is in police custody.
A police warrant was first issued two weeks ago in connection with Whyte’s purchase of the Ibrox club in 2011, a second warrant then followed when Whyte failed to appear for a trial at the Royal Courts of Justice in London.
The Crown Office will now work to ensure that Whyte is extradited back to the UK. (Various)
Walter Smith and Sir David Murray are expected to head a list of star witnesses who have recieved letters from the Procurator Fiscal ahead of the Rangers’ fraud case against Craig Whyte. Gary Withey and the htree iothers arrested in connection with the deal. (Record)
Ronny Deila to offer Kris Commons short term deal only
Celtic manager Ronny Deila has insisted that doubts over Kris Commons’ future at the Scottish champions are being caused by the length of contract on offer to the player and not by his salary demands.
Commons, the reigning Player of the Year in Scotland, is currently in negotiations with the club over extending his stay beyond the end of this season when his current deal expires.
Deila is adamant he wishes to retain the services of the 31-year-old attacking midfielder who has been Celtic’s most creative and influential performer over the past two seasons which have seen him score a combined tally of 51 goals.
Several English clubs have been linked with a January transfer window move for Commons, including Bolton Wanderers – now managed by former Celtic boss Neil Lennon – and Leicester City.
It is believed Commons is seeking the security of a three-year contract to remain with Celtic, who he joined for a bargain fee of £300,000 from Derby County almost five years ago.
However, talks have stalled as Deila has concerns over the player’s age. Deila said: “The length is something we always have to look at because, when you get older a long contract is a danger for the club.
“If we keep the player fit all the time and motivated it’s no problem. But you never know what will happen in a year.
“If an older player has a long contract then injury could hit and you have used a lot of money you can’t get back.” (Scotsman)
Celtic to land four players should the make the last 32
Ronny Deila says that Europa League qualification could help secure four new faces for Celtic in the January transfer window. Deila says there are already funds in place for a minimum of two and a maximum of four new signings in the window, but the task of landing key targets would be easier with the prospect of European football over Christmas. He said: “If we win these two games we will still be in every competition at the start of next year,” the Hoops boss said.
“Going through in the Europa League makes it easier to get players. We want to build a team that is progressing. We are going to add to the squad but it has to be the right players. It could be four, it could be two.”
The final number of new faces will depend on who is available, who is attainable and who moves on to free up wages.
Money is already in place to sign players and renew the contract of established stars. (Mail)
Chris Sutton wanrs Celtic must keep Kris Commons and John Guidetti
Chris Sutton insists Celtic must keep Kris Commons and John Guidetti – or face sending out a dreadful lack-of-intent message to their concerned supporters.
The former Parkhead hero fears failing to secure both fan favourites on new deals will fire a worrying salvo to disillusioned punters.
Commons has yet to agree a new deal while Guidetti’s agents are in talks with chief executive Peter Lawwell over making his loan from Manchester City permanent.
Sutton is desperate for the duo to stay and believes an inability or unwillingness to do so would set off alarm bells within the faithful.
He said: “There comes a time when you look at the stadium being half full where Celtic are going to have to show some intent.
Fans go to matches to watch players and top players get bums on seats.
What would happen if they let Commons go and if Guidetti doesn’t sign? What message does that send out to the Celtic fans?
“It is important that Celtic show intent and try to get Commons and Guidetti signed up – and then add to that if possible.
“I know we also have to be realistic in the marketplace that Celtic are buying from but that is the challenge.
“The fans want to see progression and want to see Celtic getting stronger to give them hope.
“It does not send out a good message if Celtic let Commons virtually walk away which is what he would be doing.” (Record)
Under-fire Tommy Craig refuses to apologise St Mirren fans
Under-fire Tommy Craig refuses to apologise St Mirren fans for his team’s disastrous start to the season. A shareholder, speaking at the club’s AGM, said: “It would have been nice if you had said sorry after the game(at Hamilton last Saturday).” To which Craig replied: “I am not going to apologise to the fans. When I have suffered vitriolic abuse that I have recently then an apology is out of the question.” (Various)
Dundee football star faces trial over police assault claim
Dundee player Paul McGowan will face trial over claims he kicked a police officer. The Dundee star is also said to have ‘struggled violently’ with five officers called to a disturbance at a house. McGowan, 27, is said to have wrestled with the police before kicking a community support PC in Coatbridge police station, the Daily Record have reported. (Daily Record)
Neil McCann believes Rangers can stil win the title
Neil McCann last night insisted that Rangers can still pip Hearts to the title but only if their big stars stand up and be counted. He said: “Rangers are the stronger squad and Hearts will dip. I think it’s critical to Rangers (to win the league). Rangers have to go up. They need to match the energy, enthusiasm and application of the teams around them. They need to lift their level of performance.” (Mail)
Old Firm referee chaos
the SFA are bracing themselves for a refereeing nightmare for the Old Firm game next year. It looks like Scotland’s two top officials, Craig Thomson and Willie Collum will not be available between January 31st and February 1st when the game is due to take place. Several other referees have also been ruled out. (Sun)
Prince Bauben set to pen new deal at Hearts
Prince Bauben will extend his stay at Hearts by signing a new contract. The player’s agent Ladi Salami has confirmed that the player is currently in talks to extend his one year deal with the capital club. (Sun)
Aberdeen’s aim of a stat-of-the-art training ground set to become reality
Aberdeen University owned Balgownie playing fields is set to becoem the club’s permanent playing ground with vice-chairman Gordon Yule telling supporters they were in advanced talks about the move. He said: “We are very confident we will have good news to deliver very shortly.” (Record)
News in brief:
• QPR are set to bid £5m in January for former Celtic striker Gary Hooper. (Sun)
• Livingston have accused unnamed officials of stealing from the club - just days after they were hit with a five point penalty for a default of payments to HM revenues and Customs. In a statement they say they expect to discover the amount ‘misappropriated’ by officials of the company. (Record)