Rumour Mill: Lazio track Celtic defender | Hibs turn down bids | Hearts eye Dutch striker

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Scottish football gossip: Lazio on the trail of Jozo Simunovic; Hibs turn down bids but not for John McGinn and Hearts are linked with Dutch striker

Lazio want Jozo

Jozo Simunovic is a target for Lazio, according to reports in Italy. Picture: SNS Group

Jozo Simunovic is a target for Lazio, according to reports in Italy. Picture: SNS Group

Lazio have reportedly earmarked Celtic defender Jozo Simunovic as a potential replacement for Stefan de Vrij, who looks to be on his way out of the Stadio Olimpico.

De Vrij has been offered a new contract but the former Feyenoord man is yet to put pen to paper amid rumours Inter and Barcelona are keen to secure his services.

Sao Paulo centre half Rodrigo Caio is said to be Lazio’s preferred option but is interesting other clubs including Zenit St Petersburg so Simunovic could find himself installed as the Biancocelesti’s number one target. (Corriere dello Sport)

Hibs throw out bids for Murray and Fontaine

Hibs boss Neil Lennon says the Easter Road club knocked back a bid from Turkish side Elazigspor for leading scorer Simon Murray – because they don’t want to lose the striker.

Murray has claimed 14 goals so far and, although he’s found himself slipping down the pecking order as teenager Oli Shaw has burst onto the scene, Lennon insisted the 25-year-old still has an important part to play this season.

Defender Liam Fontaine, who played in the friendly against Excelsior earlier this week after months on the sidelines, was the subject of interest from an unnamed club. (The Scotsman)

Hearts linked with striker

Hearts are in talks with Dutch club Go Ahead Eagles about a potential deal for 6ft 4in striker Leon de Kogel.

Tynecastle officials hope to negotiate a permanent transfer for the 26-year-old, who has scored 27 goals in 68 appearances for Go Ahead Eagles.

The Dutch second division side are willing to let him leave this month for the right offer with the two clubs currently discussing a move. (The Scotsman)

Rodgers tight-lipped over Edouard future

Brendan Rodgers has said he will make a decision on whether to sign Odsonne Edouard on a permanent deal at the end of the season. Celtic have first refusal on the Paris St-Germain forward who joined on loan last year.

The Celtic boss admitted he was reluctant to bring in a third striker with both Leigh Griffiths and Moussa Dembele keen to establish themselves as the leading Hoops forward.

Celtic would have to cough up a club record £7 million if Rodgers decides to sign Edouard permanently. (Scottish Sun)

Sean Goss opens up on back injury

New Rangers signing Sean Goss has revealed that he is lucky to be playing football at all after missing 12 months of his career with a broken back.

The injury in December 2015 ended his chances at Manchester United where he was on the fringes of the first team while a move last year to Queens Park Rangers has not given him as much game time as he would have wanted.

And now he is ready to relaunch his career on loan at Ibrox where he hopes to make an impact in the second half of the Premiership campaign. (The Scotsman)

Mitchell joins Hearts on loan

Hearts plan to solve their left-back problem by signing Manchester United’s Demetri Mitchell on loan.

A deal until the end of the season has been agreed by the clubs and the 20-year-old is expected to make his Tynecastle debut against Hibs in the Scottish Cup later this month.

He will be Craig Levein’s first signing of the winter transfer window, with a new attacking midfielder and a forward still coveted by the Edinburgh club before the deadline at the end of the month. (Evening News)

Hoops to miss out on target

Celtic look unlikely to land Chelsea starlet Charly Musonda on loan, with the midfielder set to join Bournemouth.

The Hoops had been linked with the Belgian youngster but the Stamford Bridge side appear keen for Musonda to gain experience in the English Premier League.

He’ll link up with former Blues team-mates Nathan Ake and Asmir Begovic if he completes a move to the Cherries. (Scottish Sun)

NEWS IN BRIEF

• St Mirren are keen to take Celtic youngster Mark Hill on loan for the second half of the season

• Michael O’Halloran is to hold crunch talks with Graeme Murty over his Ibrox future as he looks to kick-start his Rangers career

• Partick Thistle defender Jordan Turnbull has left Firhill after being recalled by parent club Coventry City

• Hearts have taken Rico Quitongo, son of Tynecastle legend Jose, on trial