Chelsea join the chase for £40 million-rated Celtic striker Moussa Dembele; FIFA probing Scotland World Cup group match over fixing claims and Kris Commons nears Celtic exit
Chelsea join Dembele race
CHELSEA have joined the race for £40 million-rated Celtic striker Moussa Dembele, as interest in the youngster heightens with the January transfer window approaching.
The France U21 star has already been linked with PSG, Arsenal, Bayern Munich Manchester City and Manchester United, while Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane is reportedly mulling over a buy-and-loan-back deal.
Zidane has already told the 19-year-old to stay at Celtic at least in the short term while Dembele himnself has insisted he is at Celtic for the long term. (Various)
FIFA probe Scotland World Cup group fixing claim
FIFA have launched an investigation after claims that Malta’s 2-0 defeat to Lithuania on October 11 may have been fixed.
Suspicious betting patterns on Lithuania winning by two goals or more were picked up by anti match-fixing firm FederBet, while officials entered the teams’ dressing rooms before the match to warn that the match might be fixed.
FIFA could force the match to be replayed if they find evidence of wrongdoing. (Scottish Sun)
Commons faces Celtic exit
KRIS Commons may have played his last game for Celtic, with manager Brendan Rodgers admitting the way he likes his team to play may not suit the skilful playmaker.
Commons has helped Celtic to five league titles since joining from Derby County in 2011, but has been frozen out as Rodgers builds his team around Scott Sinclair and Moussa Dembele.
Rodgers said: “Kris knew what my plan was for the team. I’ve brought in players who play in a slightly different way to him. There’s no doubting his qualities. But it’s a different team playing in a different way.” (The Scotsman)
Let Barton go in January, says ex-Ger
DEREK Johnstone has suggested Rangers may want to try and offload Joey Barton in January, either on loan or permanently, as the midfielder’s suspension appears to have been continued despite an Ibrox showdown meeting last week.
Barton hasn’t played since the Old Firm match that Celtic won 5-1, and was suspended in the days after the crunch match. But after a meeting with club bosses last week, the former Burnley midfielder’s future at Rangers is still up in the air.
Johnstone added: “It doesn’t look like Rangers will be able to sack him but there appears to be no chance he will play for the club again. The best case scenario is that he leaves in January and goes back to England.” (Various)
Lennon calls on fans to be noisier
NEIL Lennon said he was pleased with Hibernian’s 2-0 win over St Mirren at Easter Road yesterday - but called on the Leith outfit’s fans to make more noise.
Hibs took the lead after eight minutes through Martin Boyle, but Lennon expressed surprise at the muted response from the terraces, saying: “We would like a bit more atmosphere to gee the players on a bit.
“I don’t know if they expect to win, but you can’t just sit there and expect it to happen. I think some sections of the support could do their bit as well.”
Grant Holt doubled Hibernian’s lead but missed a second half penalty as Jamie Langfield kept the scoreline down with good saves from Boyle and Andy Shinnie. (The Scotsman)
Gladbach set for return to strength against Celtic
FOUR key players are set to return for Borussia Monchengladbach ahead of their clash with Celtic in Germany.
Striker Raffael, Thorgan Hazard, on-loan Chelsea defender Andreas Christensen and winger Ibrahima Traore are all expected to be fit for the Champions League match. (Various)
Kingsley set for Scotland call-up
GORDON Strachan looks set to call up Swansea City defender Stephen Kingsley following Kieran Tierney’s injury ruling him out of the England match.
Lee Wallace is expected to start at left back for Scotland at Wembley, with Andrew Robertson also out injured.
And there could be a shock return for Charlie Mulgrew, who played just his second game for Blackburn Rovers yesterday after a spell out with a calf injury. (Daily Record)