Rumour Mill: Rangers eye Portsmouth ace | Celtic close to £5m deal | Skrtel deal dead?

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Rangers linked with prolific League One forward; Celtic closing in on deal for player and is Martin Skrtel’s rumoured move to Rangers dead in the water?

Gers linked with Pitman

A general view of Portsmouth's Fratton Park stadium. Picture: Getty Images

A general view of Portsmouth's Fratton Park stadium. Picture: Getty Images

Rangers have been linked with a move for Portsmouth striker Brett Pitman.

The 30-year-old forward netted 24 goals in 41 league appearances for Pompey last season, and has turned out for Bournemouth and Ipswich as well as the Fratton Park side.

However, the Jersey-born forward is understood to be open to a new challenge after his side failed to win promotion from League One, with Rangers rumoured to be interested. (Various)

Hoops near Edouard deal

Celtic are close to finalising a permanent deal for on-loan PSG striker Odsonne Edouard.

The young French forward could become Brendan Rodgers’ first summer signing for a fee in the region of £5 million plus add-ons.

While both parties have until June 16 to thrash out a deal, Celtic are understood to be increasingly confident of getting the deal over the line. (Daily Mail)S

Skrtel deal dead?

Martin Skrtel remains a target for Rangers despite conflicting reports in Slovakia and Scotland, according to the player’s agent. It was claimed that Skrtel was not a target for Steven Gerrard, despite reports in the player’s homeland suggesting the former Liverpool defender was “going to Glasgow”.

Slovakian newspaper Pravda carried a report confirming the 33-year-old would miss his country’s friendly matches against the Netherlands and Morocco, in order to recover from a series of injuries. The paper appeared to echo reports in Turkey claiming a deal was close to being finalised, before a report in The Herald suggested the opposite. But Skrtel’s agent Karol Csonto insisted a switch was still on the cards. (The Scotsman)

Brown: SFA & SPFL need to tighten pitch rules

Celtic captain Scott Brown believes the Scottish football authorities need to “step up their game” and tighten regulations on the use and acceptability of 
top -flight playing surfaces. Brown is a long-standing arch-critic of synthetic pitches and has recently become increasingly concerned by the standard of some of the country’s grass surfaces. Scotland’s Player of the Year has now gone as far as to suggest the preparation and care of some pitches is carried out with a view to “stopping Celtic” playing their preferred style of football. (The Scotsman)

Jags to keep Archie on

Alan Archibald will be kept on by Partick Thistle despite the club’s relegation to the Scottish Championship last Sunday. Club chairman David Beattie said that the Jags would be “learning from other clubs before us” adding: “It is clear that slashing budgets is a false economy. For the club to succeed in the Championship and remain prepared for that return to top flight football, we need to have a competitive budget that will fully match our aspirations.”

The statement ends: “It is our job to act in the best interests of this club – we believe keeping Alan falls under that heading. The board has faith and confidence in him and his ability to do the job in hand.” (The Scotsman)

Lennon ‘forgot about Euro ban’

Neil Lennon admits he FORGOT about the European ban which will see him confined to the stands when Hibs embark on their Europa League qualifying campaign on July 12.

Lennon was hit with a four-match ban for remonstrating with the referee when he took charge of the club for the first time when they played Brondby two years ago.

Speaking yesterday at the SPFL Trust’s Annual Golf Day, Lennon said: “Feck, I’d forgotten about that. I’ll just have to deal with it… my staff are well used to it by now.” (The Scotsman)

Buddies eye Neilson with Ross interesting Sunderland

Jack Ross is on the verge of completing a move to Sunderland after St Mirren “reluctantly” agreed to allow the manager hold talks with the Wearside club.

A statement released by the Buddies confirmed Ross was in talks with the English League 1 side. He is expected to be unveiled at Sunderland on Thursday. St Mirren will begin the search for a successor in the coming days.

Former Hearts manager Robbie Neilson is among the leading candidates to take over at the newly promoted Premier League side. (The Scotsman)