Northern Ireland set to block Kyle Lafferty from playing for Rangers, Celtic handed double boost ahead of Hibs test and Rangers linked with another midfielder
NI set to block Lafferty from playing for Rangers
The row between Northern Ireland and Kyle Lafferty has escalated, after the striker pulled out of Michael O’Neill’s squad for the games against Austria and Bosnia-Herzegovina, citing an Achilles problem.
Irish FA chiefs are understood to have sent an email to Rangers, invoking a FIFA ruling allowing them to request that Lafferty misses Sunday’s clash with Hamilton.
The rule stipulates that - if requested - a player cannot turn out for his club until at least five days have passed between the end of an international period and the next club game. (Daily Record)
Gers line up another midfielder - reports
Rangers have been linked with Dundee midfielder Glenn Kamara - just 24 hours after former Ger Steven Davis was touted for a return to Ibrox.
The Finnish international, who scored his first goal for his country earlier this week, has been a target for a number of clubs in Scotland and England.
The former Arsenal star, 22, could be the subject of a January bid from Rangers - which would surely cast doubt on Jordan Rossiter’s future at the club. (Various)
Benkovic boost for Celtic
Celtic have been handed a boost ahead of their clash with Hibs, with defender Filip Benkovic likely to be fit to face Neil Lennon’s side.
An Achilles complaint kept him out of four Celtic matches but he returned for the impressive 6-0 win at St Johnstone, and completed 90 minutes for Croatia Under-21s as thy beat Greece 2-0 last week.
Suspension ruled him out of Monday’s game against San Marino, meaning the on-loan Leicester City stopper should be fit and rested for the visit of the Capital club. (Various)
Rogic set to face Hibs
Tom Rogic is also expected to be included in Celtic’s squad to face Hibs, despite playing for Australia on Monday night.
The midfielder has often sat out the first match back after an international break but reports suggest the Socceroos ace will report back to Lennoxtown as the Hoops prepare to host the Easter Road side.
Rogic is expected back at training today. (Various)
Nade opens up over depression
Former Hearts star Christian Nade has spoken candidly about his battle with depression, revealing the intervention from a friend that saved his life.
Nade said: “Everyone’s got demons to fight but I was losing my battle. I felt I couldn’t take life any more and I needed it to stop. I texted my family and said, ‘I can’t deal with this any more, I’m sorry for everything,’ and left my phone by the water. I kept walking further and further in. I had been in the freezing water for an hour and it was right up to my neck. Then I heard a friend scream my name. It made me change my mind.” (The Sun)
Forrest hails Edinburgh clubs after strong start
Celtic winger James Forrest has backed Hearts and Hibs to sustain a genuine interest in the Premiership title race.
The league resumes on Saturday, with Neil Lennon’s men at Parkhead and Forrest believes the fact that Brendan Rodgers’ title-winners find themselves behind the Edinburgh pair is proof of the greater challenge they face this season.
“They deserve to be first and second in the league, they have started brilliantly, but we have these league games coming up and that will give us the chance to try and close the gap,” said Forrest. (Evening News)