Scottish football gossip: Celtic set to move for Bundesliga star; Hearts begin recruitment search ahead of close season and could Celtic land £7m-rated forward?
Hoops linked with Papadopolous
Celtic could make a summer move for Kyriakos Papadopoulos, with the Greek centre back expected to leave Hamburg during the close season.
Brendan Rodgers is a known admirer of the defender, and was linked with a £13.5 million swoop when he was Liverpool boss, although the Reds ended up signing Mamadou Sakho due to reported concerns over Papadopoulos’ injury history.
The 28-cap Greek international has had spells at Olympiacos, Schalke, Bayer Leverkusen, RB Leipzig and was linked with AC Milan and Zenit St Petersburg during his five years at Schalke. (Various)
Hearts set to sign NINE players
Hearts boss Craig Levein is looking to bring in nine new players including two goalkeepers, a left-back, a centre-half, defensive and attacking central midfielders, two forwards and a winger.
Levein feels a complete rebuild is needed to help turn Hearts into a force once again, and has told recruitment chief John Murray to let numerous agents know what the club is after.
The club are understood to be looking at free agents, loan deals or players who have been transfer-listed and are available for a nominal fee. (Daily Express)
Celtic weighing up Edouard switch
Celtic are reportedly considering exercising their right-to-buy option with French striker Odsonne Edouard. The Old Firm goal hero is on loan from PSG but the Hoops have first refusal on the 20-year-old forward.
Edouard, who has netted eight goals and bagged three assists in 23 games for Celtic, would be the club’s most expensive outlay, rumoured to cost around £7 million.
However, with Moussa Dembele’s future uncertain, Celtic could see Edouard as the perfect replacement for Dembele should he leave. (Various)
Booking rule ish harsh, says McInnes
Derek McInnes has urged the SFA to review its bookings rule after three of his first-teamers were ruled out of the Scottish Cup semi final.
The Dons eventually progressed to the last four of the competition, beating Kilmarnock on penalties, but McInnes will have to face Motherwell without Graeme Shinnie, Shay Logan or Kenny McLean.
“It’s a harsh rule when it goes to a replay and there’s extra time,” said McInnes. “It’s a quarter-final, fully committed. There’s going to be bookings. We have played four games and the boys are out for two bookings.” (Scottish Sun)
Eckersley desperate for top flight chance
Adam Eckersley admits it still stings that he wasn’t offered a new contract by Hearts after helping them to the Scottish Championship title - but he’s desperate for a crack at the top flight with St Mirren.
The left back joined Hibs after his Hearts exit but left for Canada after four months before returning to Scotland after failing to settle. And Eckersley says he “wants to play at the highest level in Scotland.”
He added: “I feel it’s my time to get an opportunity in the Premiership. I felt I deserved it at Hearts and I feel I’ve done well this year. Hopefully I get rewarded for that and play in the top league next year.” (Evening News)
Hearts eye McGregor
Hearts could make a move for Scotland goalkeeper Allan McGregor this summer, as the Tynecastle club look set to lose Jon McLaughlin.
McLaughlin has been in fine form for Hearts this season, leading to a Scotland call-up for the friendly matches against Costa Rica and Hungary but will likely depart Edinburgh in the summer.
Hearts were linked with McGregor last summer but a move didn’t materialise. The 36-year-old’s Hull contract is up in the summer and Craig Levein, who capped McGregor for Scotland, could attempt to lure him North. (Scottish Sun)