With the season OFFICIALLY over bar the Champions League Final on Saturday, our Summer Transfer Window watch kicks off. Our contributors will trawl through the newspapers, sports sites and media outlets reporting on the comings and goings at clubs, as well as players linked too or away from a club. In Part One we focus on the transfer goings on in Scottish Football.
Old Firm to do battle over McFadden?
After Celtic won the battle between the two sides to sign midfielder Kris Commons in January, the Old Firm are set to battle once more over the signature of Birmingham playmaker James McFadden.
The Scottish International is out of contract this summer after rejecting a new contract that was far reduced that the one he is currently on with Alex McLeish’s side, and with relegation to the Championship, McFadden is now keen on a move away from St.Andrews. Which has alerted both sides of the Old Firm.
Celtic are reportedly the player’s favoured destination, if he was to return to Scotland, given that he grew up as a Celtic supporter. However a move to Rangers has not been ruled out at this stage either.
Everton to rival Celtic for Jay Bothroyd
With the failure to secure a Championship play-off final place, Cardiff City have released Jay Bothroyd as the Welsh side cut their costs to deal with another year in the Championship.
With Celtic interested in the player, Neil Lennon travelled to watch the player in person as Cardiff took on Reading, the Scottish Cup winners could table an offer for Bothroyd that would see him link up with former Cardiff team mates Joe Ledley and Adam Matthews, with the latter making a move north at the start of the transfer window.
However it is reported that David Moyes is interested in signing the English International in the hope of partnering him up with Jermaine Beckford. If Moyes fails in luring Bothroyd to Goodison Park, the Merseyside club have lined up Blackpool forward DJ Campbell who reportedly has a £750,000 buyout clause in his contract.
Liverpool still sniffing around Celtic full back Izaguirre
It seems the link between Liverpool and Celtic full back Emilio Izaguirre won’t go away, despite Neil Lennon determined to keep the Honduran on the books at Celtic Park.
In an impressive debut season at Celtic Park, Izaguirre was named SPFA Player of the Year, and received plaudits from all quarters for his attacking play. And his performances have attracted the attentions of Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish who is keen to bolster his left back options.
Dalglish has also earmarked Jose Enrique of Newcastle as another target, but with Newcastle manager Alan Pardew playing hard ball over any potential transfer, the option of Celtic’s attacking full back would look to be the easier of the two deals to strike, despite Celtic not needing to sell the Honduran and can hold out for more money, if not refuse any offers tabled.
Rangers to strengthen their Defensive options with Mensah
The agent of John Mensah says that the Ghanaian defender is a summer transfer target for Rangers. The Black Stars captain is reportedly on his way out of the Stadium of Light and due to return to parent club Lyon.
Despite interest from Greece, Mensah is thougt to be tempted by the possibility of playing Champions League Football with the SPL Champions.
“It is true that Rangers have expressed interest in John, but we are looking at other offers and taking into consideration the price tag before making a move,” Fabien Piveteau, the player’s agent, revealed. “We have to sit with John’s former club Lyon for a better deal for both parties, for now, we are just considering some factors before taking the next plan of action.“
Hearts chase John Sutton
It is understood that Hearts are the front-runners to sign Motherwell striker John Sutton this summer. Sutton is out of contract in the summer, and Hearts are set to pounce for the club’s joint leading scorer, although there has been interest from clubs in England.
Sutton had put his future on hold until after Saturday’s Scottish Cup final.
Hearts make their first signing of the Summer
Hearts have made their first signing of the summer with the capture of midfielder Jamie Hamill. The former Kilmarnock man has signed on for three years, and joins former manager Jim Jefferies at Tynecastle, after a working relationship at Rugby Park which spanned seven years.
Hamill left Killie as a free agent at the end of the season. And it is believed that Hearts fought off interest from other clubs in the SPL to sign Hamill.
“Jamie is a player I know very well and I’m confident he’ll be a good addition to the squad,” Jim told Hearts News. “I am delighted to have brought him here and he will add competition for places which is good for any team.”
Old Firm make late bids to try to secure Victor Wanyama
According to Sky Sports News, Celtic and Rangers are set to make late bids to try to secure midfielder Victor Wanyama. The Kenyan currently plays for Germinal Beerschot Antwerpen in Belgium and has been attracting interest from across the continent.
Aston Villa and Newcastle United have checked on him during the season, while Hannover and Werder Bremen are also rumoured to be keen. However Standard Liege are strong favourites to sign Wanyama and have already agreed a deal with his current club.
The transfer has yet to be finalised and that could allow the Old Firm rivals Celtic and Rangers to make a late swoop.