Rumour Mill: Porto eye Celtic ace | Rangers fans '˜want Gerrard statue' | 30yo linked with Celtic return
Porto want Ntcham
Olivier Ntcham is a reported target for Porto, with the French midfielder’s representatives in talks over a move, according to reports in the player’s homeland.
RMC in France claims that, while Celtic don’t want to sell the 22-year-old, Ntcham’s people are confident of sanctioning a deal if the Hoops drop out of the Champions League.
Ntcham, contracted until 2021, will almost certainly start against AEK Athens tonight as Celtic look to advance to the Champions League play-off round. (RMC)
Rangers fans call for Gerrard statue
Some Rangers fans are so impressed with what Steven Gerrard has done at Ibrox since taking the reins that they want to honour him with a statue.
In response to his comments after a first league victory of the season over St Mirren at Ibrox, despite going down to ten men in the first half, fans hailed the Liverpool legend as “honest, insightful and straightforward.”
One supporter even called for a statue of the former Anfield captain to be installed outside the Copland Road end at Ibrox. (Various)
Forster linked with Hoops return
Southampton’s Fraser Forster has been linked with a return to Celtic and could join the champions on loan as he looks to reignite his international career.
Both Alex McCarthy and Angus Gunn are ahead of the 30-year-old in the St Mary’s pecking order and the chances of Forster seeking a move away have increased, according to reports.
One such destination could be Celtic, where Forster spent four years between 2010 and 2014. The Saints are understood to be willing to pay the chunk of his wages if a loan deal can be agreed. (Various)
McLeish fears for Griffiths
Alex McLeish has expressed his concern over Leigh Griffiths’ fitness levels as Scotland’s chronic shortage of striking options shows no sign of easing.
The 27-year-old, who was Scotland’s top scorer in the 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign, has slipped down the strikers’ pecking order at Celtic behind French duo Moussa Dembele and Odsonne Edouard.
McLeish said: “It would be very difficult to pick players when they are not playing. I don’t have anything up my sleeve in terms of new strikers to come in. I wish I had. But we want Leigh back to top fitness.” (The Scotsman)
Naismith and Brown escape SFA rap
Celtic captain Scott Brown and Hearts attacker Steven Naismith have escaped punishment from the SFA over separate incidents during Hearts’ 1-0 win over Celtic.
Naismith appeared to aim a kick at Jonny Hayes after the pair had clashed earlier in the half and Brown appeared to throw an arm at Naismith as he sought to shield the ball in the centre of the park.
However, after reviewing the footage, the governing body decided there was no case to answer. (The Scotsman)
Souttar for Scotland?
John Souttar is on course to make his senior Scotland debut next month as Alex McLeish considers his defensive options ahead of the Hampden double-header against Belgium and Albania.
Souttar had been called up by McLeish for the summer friendlies against Peru and Mexico at the end of last season but withdrew from the squad.
With Christophe Berra joining Scott McKenna on the list of injured Scotland defenders, Souttar is in the frame for the match against Belgium on September 7 and the Uefa Nations League opener against Albania. (Evening News)