Conor Hourihane, linked with Celtic, holds talks with Barnsley; ex-Rangers boss Ally McCoist was keen on QPR job and could Robbie Keane return to Celtic?
Fox holds up Hibs game
HIBERNIAN’s match with Queen of the South was held up briefly after a FOX darted onto the field of play and ran the entire length of the Easter Road pitch.
Celtic target holds extension talks
CONOR Hourihane, the Irish midfielder linked with a move to Celtic, has revealed he has opened talks with current club Barnsley over a new deal.
The 25-year-old was mentioned as a possible target for the Hoops as well as Rangers and Aston Villa, with Hourihane’s contract up in summer 2017.
And the Cork-born midfielder has confirmed that ‘talks are ongoing’ with the Tykes, adding: “First and foremost we need to keep winning games for the club and cement our Championship place.” (Radio Yorkshire)
McCoist admits interest in QPR job
FORMER Rangers boss Ally McCoist has revealed he is desperate to get back into management - and even applied for the QPR job which later went to Ian Holloway.
McCoist said: “A few jobs have come up but just after I expressed an interest in one, people got in touch to tell me not to go near it with a barge pole. So I’m not going to take anything for the sake of it.
“I’m looking at England, but there are one or two things going on in the United States which I’d seriously consider as well.” (Sunday Post)
Keane set for Celtic return?
BOOKIES have slashed the odds on Irish striker Robbie Keane returning to Celtic.
The 35-year-old left Los Angeles Galaxy after more than five seasons last week, and is now a free agent - and some bookmakers reckon he could return to Celtic.
Shamrock Rovers are the favourites to sign Keane, but Celtic - along with any Australian A-League side - are joint-second favourites to be Keane’s next destination. (Various)
SFA’s secret plan to revamp Scottish game
AN SFA plan to revamp the Scottish game could be pushed through without a club vote, according to reports.
The blueprint contains plans for an eight-club academy elite - but six clubs with strong youth set-ups including Kilmarnock, Dundee United and Motherwell - face missing out, leading to a tense situation.
Clubs fear the SFA could look to push the proposals through regardless. The plan is named ‘Project Brave: Raising the Bar - Changing the Game’, and outlines a total revamp of youth development from academies to the national team.
With 16 clubs keen on Performance Academy status, it is believed the SFA are looking to streamline the current model of 29 academies with over 2000 players. (Daily Record)
City target £200m Messi move
MANCHESTER City are reportedly preparing a £200 million bid for Barcelona striker Lionel Messi.
The Argentinian forward, who missed Barca’s stalemate with Malaga last night and is a doubt for the Celtic clash, would be in line for an eye-watering £500,000-a-week salary.
And City are hopeful that Messi’s failure to sign a new deal at the Nou Camp could convince him to team up with Pep Guardiola once more. (Daily Record)
Boyd rubbishes Dembele price tag
KRIS Boyd has insisted that people need to ‘get real’ if they think Celtic striker Moussa Dembele will be sold for ‘upwards of £20 million’.
The former Rangers striker, currently with Kilmarnock, added: “There’s no doubt he’s a player. But this idea he’s going to leave for £30m or even £40m is utterly ridiculous.”
Some reports earlier this year valued the France U21 forward at £40 million after his early form for the Hoop. (Scottish Sun)
Celtic can beat Barca, insists Rodgers
BRENDAN Rodgers has backed his players to cause a shock in Wednesday’s Champions League showdown, despite a 7-0 drubbing at the Nou Camp.
Neil Lennon famously led Celtic to a 2-1 win over Barca in 2012, and Rodgers is calling on his players to repeat history.
Rodgers added: “We know they are some of the top players ever, but we have to get up to them and see how they cope when you are right at them. It is great that we feel that we can win. It’s a mark of where the club’s going.” (GOAL.com)
Lennon hopeful of delaying McGinn op
NEIL Lennon is hopeful that John McGinn can delay an operation on his ankle until after Hibernian travel to face Dundee United at Tannadice.
The 22-year-old was a stand-out performer in his side’s 4-0 win over Queen of the South yesterday, with a fierce shot from the ex-St Mirren midfielder deflecting off Chris Higgins to put Hibs 2-0 up.
But Lennon - who faces up to eight weeks without McGinn - said: “He’ll probably want to have it done ASAP so he doesn’t miss many games going into the New Year but from our point of view we want him for Dundee United in a fortnight.” (Various)
Hoops target Mutch
CELTIC and Aston Villa are both eyeing a move for Crystal Palace midfielder Jordan Mutch.
The 24-year-old has fallen out of favour at Selhurst Park and both Celtic and Villa are believed to be weighing up a January bid for the former Cardiff man. (Various)
Mackay tops performance role wishlist
FORMER Cardiff and Wigan boss Malky Mackay is at the top of the SFA’s wishlist as Scottish football’s governing body seeks a new performance director.
The ex-Celtic defender could replace fellow former Hoops man Brian McClair, who stepped down from the role in July. (Various)
NEWS IN BRIEF
• Mark Warburton hailed super-sub Harry Forrester after his stoppage time goal gave Rangers a 1-0 win over Dundee
• Kenny McLean scored twice as Aberdeen warmed up for next weekend’s League Cup final with a 3-1 win over Inverness Caledonian Thistle
• Scotland are set to plummet to 67th in the FIFA world rankings, falling behind Benin who were recently broken up by their own football association
• Hearts boss Robbie Neilson admits he may have to sell Callum Paterson in January, with the Scotland right back likely to leave Tynecastle at the end of his current contract