Celticl inked with Uruguayan forward; Rangers target staying put; Maclaren in plea to parent club over Hibs switch and Ajer rejected Bundesliga giants to sign new Celtic deal
Hoops eye Hernandez
Celtic have been linked with out-of-contract Hull forward Abel Hernandez, according to reports south of the Border linking the Uruguayan international with a move away from the Tigers.
Newcastle, Nottingham Forest and Wolves are also keen on the 27-year-old but Celtic are reportedly keen on a three-year deal for the striker, who still managed eight goals in an injury-hit campaign.
The Hoops are understood to be keen on the former Penarol hitman regardless of Moussa Dembele’s situation. (Birmingham Mail)
Has Premiership star shut down rumours of Ibrox switch?
Crystal Palace midfielder James McArthur says he’s looking forward to a fifth season with the Eagles, despite reports linking him with a move to Rangers.
The former Hamilton playmaker backed Steven Gerrard to do well at Ibrox, fuelling the rumours, but he tweeted: “[Palace] fans have been unreal, looking forward to playing in front of you all next season.
“Thanks to everyone behind the scenes that keep the club going. Enjoy your holidays and will see you next season.” (Various)
Maclaren begs Darmstadt not to price him out of Hibs move
Jamie Maclaren will plead with parent club Darmstadt 98 not to price him out of a return to Hibs. The Australian striker is determined to quit the Bundesliga 2 outfit this summer despite still having two years of his contract to run.
Maclaren would have been a free agent thanks to a clause in his deal had Darmstadt suffered another relegation. Now former Brisbane Roar hitman Maclaren fears Darmstadt will see an opportunity to make some money by selling him.
He said: “I don’t want to go back to Germany but I have a contract until 2020. The club own me so I will have to see what happens. If they ask me, I will tell them to listen to offers because I don’t want to go back.” (Evening News)
Ajer: Not even Dortmund interest could sway me
Celtic defender Kristoffer Ajer has revealed that his focus was only ever on the Hoops, as he signed a new four-year deal yesterday. The towering Norwegian centre back was linked with Borussia Dortmund earlier in the season, but insisted: “When you play for Celtic and perform in such a good team there will always be interest but for me it will always be about Celtic. I have never been interested in hearing about any of the interest levels. I was just 100 per cent focused on Celtic and when the opportunity came up to renew my contract I was really happy with that because there is not a better club for me to be at right now.” (Various)
Arfield: Gerrard my hero
Rangers new boy Scott Arfield says it’s an “absolute dream” to sign for the Ibrox side and be playing under his hero Steven Gerrard.
Speaking after penning a four-year deal, Arfield said: “I was fortunate enough to play against him and getting that off-the-field advice now as well as the on-the-field experience can only enhance you as a player and a person.
“Obviously, with someone with his credentials coming up here, it’s so much more appealing for players to come up to this league. I hope to soak up as much as I can from Steven Gerrard.” (The Scotsman)
Gardyne blasts Coyle’s ‘cakes and Irn-Bru’ training
Ross County’s Michael Gardyne has hit out at Owen Coyle’s “hopeless” tenure in Dingwall, revealing: “We were training for cakes and Irn-Bru.”
County were relegated after finishing 12th, and Gardyne admitted it was a “s****e” feeling, adding: “It was all right [under Coyle] for a couple of games and then we didn’t work on enough things to prepare for games.
“We were training for cakes and Irn-Bru every day when we needed to be preparing for big games but I don’t want to bad-mouth him too much because it’s all about the players. We need to look at ourselves as well.” (Daily Record)
Buddies chief: Giving Old Firm more fans will boost us
St Mirren chiefs have defended their decision to increase the away allocation for Celtic and Rangers by claiming that Buddies boss Jack Ross will get a bigger transfer budget as a result.
Old Firm fans will get the North and South stands at the Paisley 2021 Stadium, which hold a total of 3300 people, and a club statement said the approach would “add a six figure sum to the playing budget”.
A statement added: “Our stated aim is to have St Mirren challenging in the top six and, as a board, we need to investigate every avenue to achieve that without putting the club at risk.” (Daily Record)
Hamilton eyes No.1 jersey
Jack Hamilton returned to keep goal for Hearts for the first time in nine months in Sunday’s 1-0 defeat at Kilmarnock, but he intends to make the jersey his own next season. Manager Craig Levein expects first-choice Jon McLaughlin to leave Tynecastle this summer and Hamilton took advantage of his absence at Rugby Park to turn in a man- of-the-match display. It served as a timely reminder of the former Scotland Under-21 star’s qualities.
Hamilton made his Hearts debut in 2014 but has made only 59 appearances since. Goalkeepers tend to mature later and last longer, of course, and the 24-year-old claims that he is now ready to be an automatic selection. (The Scotsman)