Serie A clubs eye Celtic ace, Kartal opens up on Rangers interest, more Fergie suitors, Clement's urge - Scottish football news
We talk you through some of the main stories across the press this Thursday morning in Scottish football:
Clement urges Rangers to forget Aris upset
Philippe Clement does not want his Rangers side to reflect on their Aris Limassol anguish as they prepare for the return fixture at Ibrox on Thursday night. Michael Beale had just departed the Light Blues when Rangers, under the guidance of club hero Steven Davis, were shocked by a 2-1 Europa League defeat in Cyprus. However, after four Group C fixtures Rangers are in second place, two points behind Real Betis who they play in Spain in the final game next month, and victory against Aris would guarantee European football in the new year and Clement is only looking forward. “I don’t want them to think about the last game because it can always create some negativity in your heads,” said the Belgian. “In a lot of moments we have been really good. It was not good in Aberdeen on Sunday (a 1-1 draw) for the first 15 minutes and we had a really good meeting around that, the things that went wrong and the things that went right the 75 minutes after that, so that is a new lesson for all the group. Aris is a tough challenge because they are a difficult team. They attack with a lot of numbers, have a lot of speed and several individuals who can decide the game with one action. They play less predictably than other teams because the attacking part is based on individuals rather than the collective. So we need to play an organised game and be smart.”
McGrath looking for winning end to Aberdeen’s European campaign
Jamie McGrath has targeted a positive finish to Aberdeen’s doomed Europa Conference League campaign as they prepare for the penultimate game against HJK in Finland. The Dons are third in Group G with two points from four games, with Eintracht Frankfurt and PAOK uncatchable in the top two places. In October a Bojan Miovski header gave Barry Robson’s side a draw after Bojan Radulovic had put the Finnish champions ahead but McGrath is looking for three points in the return game in freezing Helsinki on Thursday and in their final game against Eintracht Frankfurt at Pittodrie on December 14. The Republic of Ireland midfielder told RedTV: “Of course you want to finish off the group with two wins if possible. I know they are out of season but I’m sure they’ll be fresh and ready to go and it’s going to be a very tricky game. We’ve seen what they could bring in our place. So they’re a good side. They have a lot of good players, a good few internationals as well. So we’re going to have to be our best to take three points but hopefully we can do that.”
Italian clubs linked with Celtic’s Turnbull
Celtic midfielder David Turnbull has been linked with clubs in Italy, including AC Milan, according to Pianeta Milan. The 24-year-old is currently out of contract at the end of the season and there are claims that the ex-Motherwell man has admirers in Serie A. Italian clubs now scout the Scottish top-flight heavily, with Aaron Hickey, Lewis Ferguson and Josh Doig recently making successful moves to that league. The report suggests that if Milan were to try and buy Turnbull in January, then they would need to pay approximately £8million.
Ferguson interest ramps up
Staying in Italy, two new clubs have emerged as suitors for Bologna’s in-form midfielder Lewis Ferguson. The Scotland star has been one of their best players this season and Juventus are said to be weighing up a bid. However, reports in England suggest that Premier League duo Fulham and Nottingham Forest are keen on the 24-year-old ahead of the January transfer window opening. Aberdeen will be watching developments with interest, as they hold a 15 per cent sell-on clause.
Turkish midfielder opens up on Rangers interest
Turkish midfielder Kartal Yilmaz has revealed he was close to signing for Rangers last year. The 23-year-old, who is currently on loan at Kayserispor from Besiktas, says that a deal to move to Glasgow fell through. “At that time, Glasgow Rangers was also interested in me after Rıdvan Yılmaz," Yilmaz said in an interview with Hurriyet. "I know this personally, but the transfer did not take place at that time because some conditions were not met. Of course, time will tell what will happen next. I believe that I will achieve my European dream as soon as possible. I want to play for Barcelona in La Liga one day."