RANGERS and Celtic ‘must tour the world’ in order to strengthen the appeal of the fixture; Celtic’s Kieran Tierney praises Brendan Rodgers after signing new long term deal; Celtic join race to sign coveted teenage star Moussa Dembele; plus the rest of today’s football news and gossip
‘Play Celtic v Rangers abroad or it will lose global appeal’
The man who wanted to stage a Celtic-Rangers derby at Wembley says the fixture must go on the road or else it will lose its global appeal forever.
The two Glasgow clubs will be confronting each other in next season’s top flight following a four-year absence of the sort of league confrontations that gave Scotland’s bitterest footballing rivalry an international renown. However, Charlie Stillitano, the Relevant Sports chairman whose company is behind the International Champions Cup that will see Celtic play Leicester City, Barcelona and Internazionale next month, believes that without creating a new audience for the rivalry it will fade into obscurity beyond these borders.
If we don’t start taking Celtic-Rangers across the world, then the support is only going to be local for these teams. Then, eventually, it will die out across the world because the kids of Celtic fans now follow Barcelona or Bayern Munich instead.” (Scotsman)
Arsenal and Liverpool offer no attraction for Kieran Tierney
Celtic defender Kiertan Tierney has committed himself to the club after signing a new five-year contract with the club, orchestrated by Brendan Rodgers, despite interest from English Premiership clubs.
“The manager spoke to me after the first training session and told me he wanted to tie me up here,” Tierney said. “He told me this is the best place for me to be. And with him managing the club now I’m delighted to be here. I’m still young and developing.” He added: ““They are huge clubs and it’s the Premier League, so of course you take a bit of pride in that. But I never thought about leaving it all,” he said. “My mates were winding me up, sending me screenshots of the stories as a joke, but they knew I had no plans to leave.” (Scotsman)
Celtic join race to sign Moussa Dembele
French striker Moussa Dembele is a target for Brendan Rodgers, who wants to bring the free-scoring forward to Celtic Park. Out of contract at Fulham after scoring 17 goals in the Championship last season, Dembele has been linked to several top English Premiership clubs, including Arsenal, Liverpool and Southampton. Juventus and Paris-Saint Germain, his former club, are also rumoured to be showing interest.
The departures of Anthony Stokes, Colin Kazim-Richards and Carlton Cole have necessitated a focus on recruiting strikers at Parkhead, and the 19-year-old would be considered a genuine coup. Celtic would be expected to pay a fee of around £250,000 as compensation for a player who is under 24. (Daily Mail, Scottish Sun, Daily Record)
Rangers must tie down Mark Warburton, says Kenny Milller
Rangers’ best signing of the summer would be a contract extension for manager Mark Warburton, veteran striker Kenny Miller has insisted.
Praising the caliber of signings the Englishman has attracted to Ibrox, he said: “If he can extend his contract then it would be the biggest signing of the season for us.
“I can’t speak highly enough of the job the manager and Davie Weir have done to attract players and the lengths they have gone to sign players.
“They have gone way above the call of duty to get these kind of players and it speaks volumes for the manager that he has sold it to these players.
“This club doesn’t need sold to anyone, but to get them to want to come and play I think he has done a fantastic job.” (Scotsman)
Ex-Rangers defender Fernando Ricksen vows to fight disease
Former Rangers defender Fernando Ricksen has launched a foundation to raise funds for medicine and research into Motor Neurone disease.
Ricksen, 39, was diagnosed with the disease in 2013 and has vowed to beat it.
He hopes the foundation will help provide support for those with MND and their families.
“All monies raised through the Fernando Ricksen Foundation will be used to help MND patients and their families,” he said. “It will not go to seemingly never ending research.
“I want to try and make the time that patients and their families have left together as comfortable as possible.” (Scotsman)