Rumour Mill: Celtic linked with Swansea ace | Betting suspended on Rangers relegation | Motherwell eye Celtic man

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Scottish football gossip: Celtic linked with EPL defender and Stoke midfielder; bookies suspend betting on Rangers relegation and could Nadir Ciftci be on his way to Motherwell?

Celtic named in Mawson race

Alfie Mawson in action for Swansea. The defender has been linked with several clubs. Picture: Getty Images

Alfie Mawson in action for Swansea. The defender has been linked with several clubs. Picture: Getty Images

Celtic have joined the race for Swansea City defender Alfie Mawson, according to reports in Wales.

It is claimed that the Hoops are keen on Mawson, 23, but face competition from a host of English Premier League sides who are looking to bolster their defensive options in January.

Everton and West Ham are also interested in Mawson, while Watford could also be in for the centre half. (WalesOnline)

Allen to Parkhead?

The odds on Stoke City midfielder Joe Allen joining Celtic have plummeted, after large bets were placed on the switch in both Glasgow and Cardiff.

Brendan Rodgers signed Allen for Liverpool from Swansea City and could look to link up with the Welsh international a third time if a deal can be done.

However, Stoke sources say they don’t want to sell the 27-year-old midfielder. (Various)

Bookies suspend betting on Rangers relegation

Bookmakers have suspended betting on Rangers to be relegated from the top flight this season after a flurry of activity.

Oddschecker confirmed that certain bookies had stopped taking bets on Graeme Murty’s side to go down, claiming it was because of rumours that the Ibrox side were facing administration.

Rangers were 5000/1 to be relegated on Sunday, but odds had dropped to 500/1 within the space of 24 hours as several punters decided to back the audacious bet. (The Scotsman)

Steelmen keen on Ciftci loan

Motherwell are reportedly seeking to do a deal with Celtic for striker Nadir Ciftci.

The Turkish forward had signed a season-long loan deal with Plymouth Argyle but failed to score and the Pilgrims are said to be happy to terminate the agreement early, paving the way for the Steelmen to make a move.

Ciftci has been out of favour at Celtic since the Ronny Deila era, and ‘Well are looking to fill the void left by the departure of striker Louis Moult. (Scottish Sun)

Fans react as Pena appears to wipe nose on Rangers kit

Football fans have taken to Twitter to comment on footage appearing to show Carlos Pena wiping his nose on a pair of Rangers shorts as he arrived for his medical with Mexican side Cruz Azul.

TV images showed Pena with a pair of white, red and blue shorts complete with the number 27 on them before he went into a local hospital ahead of his reunion with Pedro Caixinha.

Ibrox fans accused the 27-year-old midfielder of disrespecting the kit, adding: “He won’t be back.” (Various)

Henderson pictured at Bari training session

Liam Henderson has been pictured at Bari’s training ground, following rumours that he was set to join the Italian side for a trial spell.

Italian journalist Gianluca Di Marzio posted a picture of the Celtic midfielder wearing a Bari bib and taking part in a training session.

Di Marzio suggested that the Serie B side, who are chasing promotion, could make a move for the former Hibs loan star if the trial is successful. (Gianlucadimarzio.com)

Martin arrival depends on Alves exit

Rangers will renew their efforts to land Russell Martin on loan this month - but only if they can offload Bruno Alves.

Alves is said to be attracting interest from Qatar and could look to move on to increase his chances of making the Portugual World Cup squad - and Rangers see Martin as the veteran defender’s replacement.

Martin is keen on an Ibrox switch but the Gers reportedly need to free up wages and trim their playing squad before making a move for the Scotland international. (Scottish Sun)

Levein won’t rush into Milinkovic decision

Craig Levein plans to judge on-loan Hearts winger David Milinkovic over a full season before deciding whether he is worth signing permanently.

The Hearts manager is pleased with the Frenchman’s recent form but insists he must sustain it after the winter break.

Milinkovic told the Evening News last month that he is happy in Edinburgh and plans to approach parent club Genoa about converting his season-long loan into a permanent transfer. (Evening News)

Besiktas play down Tosic to Celtic rumours

Besiktas president Fikret Orman has insisted that the SuperLig side ‘have no interest in parting ways’ with Serbian defender Dusko Tosic, despite interest from Celtic.

Orman, who has just sold Cenk Tosun to Everton, added: “There have been no official offers, it’s all speculation at the moment. I really love Tosic and we want to keep him in our squad.” (BeinSport)

NEWS IN BRIEF

Hamilton’s Ioannis Skondras could face a 22-match ban after allegedly assaulting the referee in Accies’ 3-2 win over Ross County last month. He has sat out two matches already but faces a lengthier ban if found guilty

• Aberdeen midfielder Greg Tansey looks set to join Ross County on loan

• Cardiff City are set to battle Rangers for Hamilton midfielder Greg Docherty

• Former team-mate Steven McGarry has backed Jamie Maclaren to shine at Hibs, saying: “He’s pacey and direct and loves to get in behind... he’s a proper penalty box striker.”