Scottish football gossip: Erik Sviatchenko could be set for Copenhagen move; Lee Wallace could make his comeback from injury against Celtic and Graeme Murty fighting to bring back Andy Halliday
Copenhagen line up Sviatchenko swoop
Copenhagen could make a £1.5 million bid for out-of-favour Celtic defender Erik Sviatchenko when the January transfer window opens.
The Danes have around £4 million to spend after selling Benjamin Verbic to Dynamo Kiev and Stale Solbakken could look to bring Sviatchenko to Parken Stadium to boost his defensive options.
Sviatchenko hasn’t kicked a ball for Celtic since August’s Champions League qualifier against Rosenborg and looks to have fallen down the pecking order with the arrival of Marvin Compper. (Daily Record)
Wallace set for shock Old Firm return
Lee Wallace could be fit to face Celtic in Saturday’s Old Firm clash, according to Graeme Murty.
The Rangers boss revealed the club captain is in with a chance of lining up against Celtic after being out since September and undergoing surgery on his groin.
Murty said: “Could he be back against Celtic? Possibly; his numbers are looking good. We just need to make sure he will be ready to go.” (Various)
Gers eye Halliday recall
Graeme Murty is keen to recall Andy Halliday from his season-long loan spell with Azerbaijani side Gabala, and is looking forward to Michael O’Halloran’s return from St Johnstone.
Halliday looked to have played his last game for Rangers under Pedro Caixinha but Murty is said to be keen to add experience to his team.
The Ibrox club are ‘exploring all options’ with regards Halliday’s loan agreement plus that of Harry Forrester, who joined AFC Wimbledon on a similar season-long deal. (The Scotsman)
Celtic deny Dembele bid
Celtic have dismissed reports that they have accepted a bid from Brighton for striker Moussa Dembele as ‘nonsense’.
Early on Christmas Day news broke that the club had agreed an £18 million deal with the Seagulls for the French striker.
However, sources told The Scotsman that the reports are nonsense. (The Scotsman)
Hearts missing midfield trio for Derby
Arnaud Djoum, Ross Callachan and Lewis Moore are all expected to miss tomorrow night’s derby through injury, Hearts manager Craig Levein has confirmed.
Djoum will not be available due to an ongoing knee problem, Callachan has a thigh complaint and Moore a torn calf muscle.
Michael Smith was forced off with cramp near the end in Perth but is hopeful of being fit to face Hibs. Hearts are already without long-term injury victims Malaury Martin, Rory Currie and Ashley Smith-Brown. (Evening News)
O’Hara wants win as McCann tribute
Dundee midfielder Mark O’Hara is desperate for the club to beat Celtic in order to repay manager Neil McCann.
McCann’s father, Eddie, died on Saturday morning but the Dundee boss compartmentalised his grief in order to lead his team, wearing black armbands, just hours later, but a valedictory win over Motherwell was not forthcoming.
And now O’Hara and his team-mates want to do the business against Brendan Rodgers’ side to pay tribute to McCann and his late father. (The Scotsman)
Stokes gunning for Hearts after gym sessions
Anthony Stokes has revealed extra gym sessions were the catalyst for his man-of-the-match performance against Ross County at the weekend.
Stokes admitted he had taken advice from the fitness coaches at Hibs, adding: “I’ve been doing extra work in the gym and after training – and it paid off against County.”
And with an Edinburgh Derby coming up tomorrow, the Irish striker said: ““Derbies tend not to have much free-flowing football. But the better players, nine times out of ten, still come out on top and I fancy our squad, I really do.” (The Scotsman)
McLaughlin keen to extend clean sheet record
Jon McLaughlin admits he’s desperate to spoil the festive season for Hibs when the Easter Road side visit Tynecastle tomorrow - and the ‘keeper is looking to extend Hearts’ remarkable defensive record.
The Jambos have conceded just once in the month of December, having gone six hours and 20 minutes of football without conceding a goal - Hamilton’s Xavier Tomas was the last player to breach the Hearts defence on 2 December.
And McLaughlin wants to continue that run against Hibs, adding: “All of this will pale into insignificance if don’t put in a good performance and get a win against Hibs. The fans are crying out for that.” (Evening News)