Rumour Mill: Striker on Celtic's radar? | Rangers injury blow | Celtic cancel deal for defender

Celtic pull out of deal for defender, Rangers face further injury blow and are Celtic plotting a move for this striker?

Striker on Celtic’s radar?

Celtic have been linked with a move for Red Star Belgrade forward Milan Pavkov, after Hoops scouts took in the Serbian side’s Champions League clash with Napoli last week.

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The club are expected to bolster attacking options following Moussa Dembele’s departure. While previous target Richmond Boakye was also involved, the Serbian hitman is thought to be a more realistic target despite netting 23 goals in 33 league games for Radnicki Nis last season. A £270,000 signing for Red Star, the 6ft 4in Pavkov has netted three goals in four league matches for his new club. (Various)

Feeling the heat: Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers. Picture: SNS Group

More injury woes for Gers

Rangers are sweating over the fitness of five players ahead of the Betfred Cup clash with Ayr United, it has emerged.

While Graeme Dorrans and Ovie Ejaria have returned to match action, there are still doubts over Eros Grezda, Ryan Jack, Gareth McAuley and Jordan Rossiter, while captain James Tavernier was forced off with an injury during Rangers’ 5-1 win over St Johnstone.

Jack is struggling with a calf knock picked up on international duty while McAuley also sustained an injury while away with Northern Ireland. Rossiter and Grezda are thought to be concerns over fitness. (Various)

Celtic pull out of defender deal

Celtic have pulled out of a deal to sign Canadian defender Emile Legault.

The France-based right back trained with the club during the close season and played in the Northern Ireland Super Cup and the South Shields tournament, and looked set to sign a three-year deal with the Hoops.

However, despite the club going through the process of applying for a work permit, the deal has fallen through and Legault is expected to return to France. (Various)

Hearts ‘no better than Hibs’ claims Kamberi

Florian Kamberi admits envious glances have been shot across the Capital as rivals Hearts have made a turbo-charged start to the season, but the Hibs striker insisted: “They are no better than us.

With back-to-back wins over Kilmarnock and Dundee under their belts, Kamberi believes he and his team-mates can now begin their push to better last season’s fourth-placed finish.

He said: “I think the Hearts team is not better than us if we compare the league. They are doing very well, but we have to focus on ourselves to bring performances every week. If we play like we did in the second half [vs Dundee], then I think we can beat every team.” (Evening News)

Uche doubt for Hearts ahead of Motherwell clash

Hearts striker Uche Ikpeazu is in a race to be fit in time for Wednesday night’s Betfred Cup quarter-final at home to Motherwell. The influential 23-year-old missed Saturday’s goalless draw with Livingston at Tynecastle with a foot injury sustained in the challenge with Well goalkeeper Trevor Carson in the lead-up to Hearts’ winning goal in the Premiership match between the teams at Fir Park nine days ago. Ikpeazu will be monitored this week as Hearts medics seek to establish whether he is equipped to return against the Lanarkshire side this week. (Evening News)

Rodgers accepts heat is on Celtic

Brendan Rodgers has acknowledged the “heat” is on his Celtic side following a defeat at Kilmarnock yesterday that condemned the club to their worst start to a league season in two decades.

Asked if the struggles of his team means this present situation is the biggest challenge of his time in Scotland, he said: “It is. It’s a challenge. We have to accept that. There’s no doubt we need to be better.

“When you’re at the biggest clubs and you don’t win the heat comes on to you. That’s when you show you’re a Celtic player, manager, member of staff. When you lose games the spotlight will always be on you.” (The Scotsman)

McGowan rails at ‘weak-minded’ Dundee

Paul McGowan has launched a scathing attack on “weak-minded” Dundee after a sixth straight loss in the Scottish Premiership.

The midfielder said: “I’m honestly sick of saying the same things over and over. It’ll come, this and that. “We’re f*cking weak-minded as a team. We played good football in the first-half, Hibs rarely threatened us. We looked very good, passing the ball. The goal f*cking kills us. And that’s just the mentality we’ve got now. When we go a goal down, we f*cking crumble. That’s basically it. We crumble. Six games in. A couple of wins and we’re back up.

“But I’m just sick of repeating the same sh*te over and over. I’m banging my head off a brick wall. I’m hammering myself here. I’m hammering everybody.” (The Scotsman)

Souttar: We can handle boo-boys

John Souttar has insisted Hearts won’t let the Tynecastle boo-boys affect their performances after the Jambos’ 100 per cent record was halted by Livingston on Saturday. Some fans jeered at full time, but Souttar says he can live with it.

He said: “It was very frustrating. It was one of those days. They came, sat in and were compact and we didn’t start too well. It was probably our poorest performance of the season.

“It shows the standards we set that the fans are booing. We know when we’re winning that they’ll back us so we’ll take the boos following a draw against a team we think we should be beating at Tynecastle.” (The Scotsman)