Rangers keen to sign Scott Arfield from Burnley on a pre-contract; Celtic monitoring Arsenal goalkeeper at the centre of contract tussle and Wes Foderingham could miss the final Old Firm clash of the season
Gers keen on Arfield
Rangers are reportedly keen on signing Burnley midfielder Scott Arfield on a pre-contract deal but his Premier League wages could present an issue.
Canadian international Arfield, who came up through the ranks at Falkirk before joining Huddersfield in 2010, is on £20,000-a-week and has made 15 starts for Burnley this season but looks set to depart Turf Moor in the close season.
With his contract up in the summer, Arfield would be available on a free but his wages could be a stumbling block. The club have also been loosely linked with Crystal Palace midfielder James McArthur. (Daily Mail)
Celtic keen on Arsenal goalkeeper
Celtic are keeping tabs on Arsenal goalkeeper Arthur Okonkwo, with the 16-year-old still to sign a new deal at the Emirates despite having already trained with the first team.
The 6ft 5in England Under-17 international is also on RB Leipzig’s radar and although he is viewed as one of the Gunners’ most promising youngsters, no agreement has been reached on a new deal.
Arsenal have offered Okonkwo a scholarship with professional contract to follow when he turns 17 in September but the club’s purge on contracts means the highly-rated ‘keeper could walk away in the summer. (Daily Mirror)
Foderingham and Alves doubts for Old Firm clash
Rangers could be without goalkeeper Wes Foderingham and defender Bruno Alves for the final Old Firm fixture of the season.
Foderingham sat out the visit of Hearts on Sunday with an injury, with Jak Alnwick deputising and Liam Kelly on the bench.
But Graeme Murty fears Foderingham may miss the trip to Parkhead, and veteran defender Alves could join him on the sidelines with the hamstring problem he suffered at the end of the Scottish Cup semi-final loss to Celtic. (BT Sport)
Hoops linked with Bayern defender
Celtic have been linked with Bayern Munich defender Thomas Isherwood, according to reports in Germany.
The 20-year-old Isherwood, who has represented Sweden at age grade from Under-15 to Under-19, currently plays with Bayern’s reserve team, Bayern Munich II and has reportedly been scouted by Celtic in recent games.
The Hoops, who are expected to offload Erik Sviatchenko and Jozo Simunovic in the summer, are thought to have been impressed by Isherwood’s performances for Tim Walter’s second string Bayern side. (The Scotsman)
Lennon: Watching Rangers helped us beat Celtic
Hibs boss Neil Lennon has revealed he studied Rangers’ Hampden defeat to Celtic in his preparation for hosting the champions elect at Easter Road.
Where Rangers had been timid, Hibs were ferocious. Where Rangers were ineffectual, such as in centre midfield against Olivier Ntcham and Scott Brown, Hibs ruled the roost.
Lennon noted the Ibrox side’s struggles, and said after the game: “Look, I am not going to criticise other teams. But it was something that was a feature of our preparation, put it that way.” (The Scotsman)
Celtic back in for Azmoun?
Celtic have been linked again with Iranian striker Sardar Azmoun, but face competition from Everton and Leicester, according to reports.
Rubin Kazan star Azmoun, 23, has been capped 31 times by his country and has scored 23 goals, and The Hoops were credited with an interest in the forward in June last year.
Fulham and Wolves are also said to be keen on the striker but it is believed that Everton’s interest depends on Sam Allardyce’s future as Toffees boss. (The Scotsman)
Mitchell boost for Hearts
Demetri Mitchell returns to Riccarton today and could make an appearance for Hearts against Aberdeen on Friday night. The on-loan Manchester United defender is ready to resume full training after two months out injured.
The news arrives at a perfect time for Craig Levein after an injury to Marcus Godinho against Rangers yesterday. The Canadian has been deployed at left wing-back but was forced off with a knee problem in the second half at Ibrox.
Levein said: “We might have Demi back. He’s back up with us this week and he’s been back in training at United. I don’t know if he’ll be quite ready for Friday but he’ll certainly be training with us this week.” (Evening News)
Griffiths nominates Pedro Caixinha for Celtic POTY
Leigh Griffiths nominated ousted Rangers boss Pedro Caixinha as his Celtic player of the year at the Hoops’ award bash last night.
A video doing the rounds on social media shows the striker making his nominations through video.
In the clip, Griffiths says: “My player of the year, this year, is Pedro Caixinha,” while guests laugh at the quip. Captain Scott Brown won the award on the night. (Various)
Berra: ‘We’ll be better next season’
Hearts captain Christophe Berra has promised the club’s fans they will see a more purposeful and cohesive team next season.
The defender feels Hearts’ position in the post-split top six, which has left them with nothing meaningful to play for, is down to the lack of a clearly defined strategy in their performances. “If we were a little bit closer, we would have more confidence as a team but we don’t have a set way of playing yet,” said Berra. “That’s something we’re working on and, next season, I’m sure we will be a lot stronger. We are working on it now.” (The Scotsman)
Second place would boost transfer kitty, admits Lennon
Neil Lennon has revealed claiming second place in the Ladbrokes Premiership and European football can provide the cash which will help him revamp his Easter Road squad for next season.
The Hibs boss, who led his team to a stunning 2-1 victory over champions-elect Celtic on Saturday, admitted he’s facing “an interesting summer” as he looks to build on what has been a remarkable return to the top flight for the Capital club. (Evening News)