Rumour Mill: Celtic keen on Besiktas ace | Murty plays down title challenge | Vorm to Celtic?

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Celtic linked with move for Serbian defender; Graeme Murty plays down talk of a Rangers title challenge and Brendan Rodgers keen on bringing Spurs ‘keeper to Glasgow

Tosic on Celtic radar

Dusko Tosic celebrates scoring for Besiktas against Osmanlispor. Picture: AFP/Getty Images

Dusko Tosic celebrates scoring for Besiktas against Osmanlispor. Picture: AFP/Getty Images

Celtic have been linked with a move for defender Dusko Tosic, who is currently at Besiktas.

The Serbian international, who can count Red Star Belgrade, Gençlerbirliği and Werder Bremen amongst his former clubs, is a centre half but can also operate at left back.

And reports in Turkey suggest Brendan Rodgers is keen on bringing the 32-year-old to Celtic, with a fee of around £2.6 million being quoted. (Fotospor)

Rodgers keen on Vorm

Brendan Rodgers hasn’t ruled out a move for Spurs ‘keeper Michel Vorm next month as he looks to bolster his squad for the club’s tilt at the Europa League.

The Hoops boss knows the Dutchman from their time at Swansea and could tempt the 34-year-old north of the Border, with the former Utrecht No 1 seemingly third choice at White Hart Lane behind Hugo Lloris and Paulo Gazzaniga. (Various)

Murty plays down title challenge

Graeme Murty has played down the prospect of Rangers mounting a serious title challenge to Celtic over the coming weeks as he focuses on eradicating the inconsistency which has already blighted his current stint as caretaker boss.

“At the moment Celtic are on top and we are chasing,” said Murty. “Chasing is a good position to be in, but we have to be better and more consistent – that’s the theme throughout the season.

“We are in second at the moment, but we have to take care of the small details and see where we are then. If we start looking ahead to Celtic, I have no doubt there are opponents before that that will be looking to trip us up.” (The Scotsman)

Dembele focused despite transfer talk

Moussa Dembele is relaxed about his personal situation despite the upcoming transfer window. Under contract until 2020, he has never expressed a desire to make a sharp exit but is aware that he could have a choice to make at any given moment if Celtic receive an offer which meets their valuation of him. Brighton, Everton and Fiorentina are all keen with the Seagulls reportedly set to test the water with a £20 million next month.

“I can say I have a plan, but the plan can change. As long as I am here, I will give 100 per cent. I just focus on my football and give my best for the club and then we will see.” (The Scotsman)

Compper deal in doubt?

RB Leipzig boss Ralph Hasenhuttl has insisted he won’t allow Marvin Compper to leave in January - because of the club’s injury problems.

Celtic had been linked with a move for the 32-year-old Germany international, even if he would be ineligible for the Hoops’ Europa League ties.

But Hasenhuttl claimed: “Marvin has never come to me and said he’s unhappy or put in a transfer request. So he will be here until the summer at least.” (Scottish Sun)

Alex Rae has radio nightmare

Alex Rae was forced into a quick U-turn on radio last night - after criticising Conor Sammon for not scoring more goals for Hearts.

Ex-St Mirren boss Rae, who was appearing on BBC Sportsound, was discussing Hearts’ lack of goals alongside Allan Preston and Richard Gordon, saying: “Sammon as well, he’s got to pitch up. He’s been about the block.”

However, Rae’s colleagues brought him up to speed - Sammon is on loan at Partick Thistle - with the former Ger saying: “I thought he was still here, right, okay. I was looking at that earlier on. No wonder he’s not scored here!” (Various)

No Griff rift, says Rodgers

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers has insisted there is nothing untoward about Leigh Griffiths’ absence from his starting line-up.

The Scotland striker has been an unused substitute in Celtic’s last three matches with last season’s top scorer Moussa Dembele and on-loan Paris Saint-Germain teenager Odsonne Edouard preferred

Rodgers said: “I’m picking what I think is the best team. Odsonne [scored] a hat-trick against Motherwell, and performed well when he came on against Anderlecht. It’s about picking players who are in a good moment and it’s a long season.” (The Scotsman)

Levein hopes back-to-back wins mean corner has been turned

Craig Levein hopes Hearts have finally turned the corner after Tuesday night’s 2-0 win over Dundee at Tynecastle Park stretched their unbeaten run to five matches.

Esmael Goncalves and Christophe Berra scored the goals, but teenagers Lewis Moore, Harry Cochrane and Anthony McDonald all stood out in the victory.

Levein said: “It was a good night. We keep a clean sheet, Christophe and Isma get on the scoresheet. We’ve had a tough couple of months and I’m hoping that’s us turned the corner.” (Evening News)

Bartley hails Ibrox win as decisive

Neil Lennon’s Hibs have made everyone sit up and take notice following their return to the Premiership after spending three years exiled from the top flight.

The Easter Road outfit go into tonight’s match against Rangers knowing victory will haul them level on points with the Ibrox side as the pair, along with Aberdeen, tussle for second place in the table.

And Marvin Bartley believes it was the win in Govan which provided a springboard for the success which has followed, adding a massive injection of self-belief which Bartley claims has under-pinned their season. (Evening News)

Lennon ‘expected to be facing McInnes’

Hibs manager Neil Lennon has admitted he fully expected to see Derek McInnes in the away dugout at Easter Road tonight, revealing his surprise that the Aberdeen boss had spurned the chance to take the reins at Rangers.

Revealing that he’d have jumped at the job if he had been McInnes, Lennon admitted: “I would have expected Derek to be in the dugout tonight.

“I’m only surmising, but he had a tough time at Bristol City behind the scenes. When you’ve had that – and I had it at Bolton – you don’t want to be firefighting again. So maybe that’s one of the reasons,” Lennon added. (Evening News)

Hoops play down Twumasi link

Reports linking Celtic with Astana forward Patrick Twumasi look to have been wide of the mark, with suggestions that the Hoops are not looking to add the Ghanaian striker to their ranks.

Celtic had been credited with an interest in the attacker, but a deal now looks unlikely. (Various)