Celtic installed as favourites to sign Liverpool winger Lazar Markovic; Hibs linked with loan deal for Danny Graham and Rangers edge past Luxembourg minnows as Pedro Caixinha insists he can’t work miracles
Hoops lead Markovic race
Bookies have made Celtic the favourites to sign Liverpool winger Lazar Markovic - who Brendan Rodgers brought to Liverpool from Benfica for £21.25 million.
The Serbian international was on loan at Hull and Sporting Lisbon last season, and finished the season strongly at the DW Stadium.
Celtic could face competition from Watford, Zenit St Petersburg and Galatasaray for the 23-year-old wide man. (Various)
Could Danny Graham be heading to Hibs on loan?
Hibs have been linked with a season-long loan move for Blackburn striker Danny Graham as the Easter Road side are looking to bolster their strikeforce after the departures of Jason Cummings, Grant Holt and James Keatings.
They were linked with Kyle Lafferty, who eventually joined Hearts, and have also brought in Simon Murray from Dundee United and have been linked with Anthony Stokes as well.
It’s understood Graham, who has played for Middlesbrough, Watford and Sunderland, doesn’t fancy playing in the English third tier after Blackburn’s relegation and Rovers would be happy to let the 31-year-old go on loan to a club prepared to pay a chunk of his wages. (Scottish Sun)
Caixinha ‘can’t work miracles’
Pedro Caixinha urged Rangers fans not to expect miracles after his side’s narrow win over Luxembourg side Progres Niederkorn.
A first competitive European match in six years did not go quite as planned for the new-look Ibrox team. Kenny Miller’s 37th-minute goal is all that separates the sides ahead of next week’s second-leg.
Caixinha refused to blame his players’ physical condition but said: “I am not a guy who can create miracles in three weeks. The team needs to get into the rhythm of playing. You only get it by playing and by time.” (The Scotsman)
Marciano seals Hibs return
Hibs have confirmed the signing of Israeli goalkeeper Ofir Marciano on a four-year deal, after a successful loan spell last season.
Marciano was reportedly keen on a permanent switch to Easter Road after enjoying his time in Leith, with Hibs eager to thrash out a deal with the ‘keeper’s parent club Ashdod.
The 27-year-old played 123 times for his hometown side Ashdod, and spent time on loan at Belgian outfit Royal Excel Mouscron during the 2015/16 season. (The Scotsman)
Benyu joins Celtic on four-year deal
Celtic have announced the signing of midfielder Kundai Benyu on a four-year deal.
The 19-year-old will join the Scottish champions on 1 July after his contract with Ipswich Town expires.
Celtic will snap up the highly-rated youngster - reportedly chased by Tottenham Hotspur and Aston Villa - at a discount price similar to the six-figure compensation fee paid for Moussa Dembele last summer. (The Scotsman)
Maloney agrees Dons switch
Aberdeen have agreed terms with Shaun Maloney and the Scottish international will sign a one-year contract with the club.
The 34-year-old will officially join Derek McInnes’ squad for the 2017/18 season once he passes a medical.
Aberdeen have been chasing the ex-Celtic star since early May, but looked likely to miss out on their target when it was revealed Hull City had offered the player a new deal. (The Scotsman)
Dons legend Cooper recovering after heart attack
Former Aberdeen midfielder Neale Cooper, part of the team that won the European Cup Winners Cup in 1983, is recovering in hospital following a heart attack.
The 53-year-old revealed the news himself yesterday on social media and posted a picture from his hospital bed, telling fans he was ‘feeling good but resting’. (Various)
Terrors close in on duo
Ray McKinnon is hopeful of concluding a deal to snap up freed Hibs midfielder Fraser Fyvie as he prepares to add a fifth signing to his revamped Dundee United squad.
The United manager confirmed he is in talks with Fyvie over a move to Tannadice after Hibs took an offer off the table for the former Aberdeen and Wigan player.
Ex-Motherwell and Ross County defender Paul Quinn is also training with United, while McKinnon has already added Tam Scobbie, Fyvie’s Hibs team-mate James Keatings, ex-Hearts winger Billy King and Paul McMullan. (The Scotsman)
Lafferty in Hearts vow
New Hearts striker Kyle Lafferty has set his sights on scoring ‘20-25 goals with the first trophy in the new stand’ as he insisted a move to Hibs was never on the cards.
The ex-Rangers forward said: “I don’t want to be known as the player who ignored Hibs, I want to be known as the guy who scored 20-25 goals with the first trophy in the new stand.
“I want to be known for performances on the pitch. In my early days in Scotland, I wasn’t known enough on the pitch but I’ve been given a second chance and I’ve come to one helluva club to put things right.” (The Scotsman)
Saints face uphill battle in Lithuania
St Johnstone face a sizeable task in Lithuania next week if they are to progress in the Europa League competition.
Goals from Maksin Maksimov and Vaidotas Silenas gave FK Trakai two vital away goals at McDiarmid Park last night, while Joe Shaughnessy scored for the home side and an 80th-minute equaliser was ruled out for a foul on the ‘keeper.
Trakai had a man sent off late on - Silenas booked first for dissent and again for a foul on Stefan Scougall - but held on to take a one-goal lead going into the second leg. (Various)
NEWS IN BRIEF
• Kilmarnock look set to sign 18-year-old Bolton Wanderers striker Alex Samizadeh on a short-term loan deal
• Wolves have signed 16-year-old Aberdeen midfielder Terry Taylor for a fee thought to be in the region of £100,000. Taylor made his debut for Aberdeen’s Under-20 side at the age of just 14
• Hibs youngster Ryan Porteous is on the verge of sealing a loan move to Dumbarton. The highly-rated defender spent time on loan at Edinburgh City last season
• Former Donegal GAA coach Jim McGuinness has quit his role at Celtic and looks set to take up a coaching position with Chinese side Beijing Sinobo Guoan