CELTIC are closing in on their sixth signing of the summer with reports insisting Rosenborg left-back Birger Meling is heading for the champions – after the Hoops confirmed a two-year deal with former Southampton striker Jonathan Afolabi.

Neil Lennon, who has admitted he is on the look-out to strengthen his defensive flanks, refused to confirm the Norwegian international is poised to sign a four-year contract with the club.

A report in The Herald on Sunday states Meling could be unveiled before the club’s Europa League first leg play-off against AIK Stockholm at Parkhead on Thursday night.

Meanwhile, Republic of Ireland Under-19 international forward Afolabi, who knocked back a two-year extension at the south coast outfit, joined Christopher Jullien, Boli Bolingoli, Hatem Abd Elahmed and Luca Connell as Lennon recruits during his squad rebuild.

The champions’ gaffer will not rush the youngster and said he has “good potential’.

Afolabi watched his new team from the stand as they beat Dunfermline 2-1 to earn a place in this afternoon’s League Cup quarter-final draw.

GARY McALLISTER has revealed Rangers’ main domestic aim is to stop Celtic winning their TENTH trophy in a row, before they think about derailing their bid for a ninth successive title.

Steven Gerrard’s No.2 admitted the Ibrox side, who play East Fife at Methil this afternoon, are determined to lift the first prize of the new season to halt the Hoops picking up their fourth League Cup on the spin making it 10 honours on the trot.

Asked if stopping Neil Lennon’s men silverware surge was a priority, McAllister, speaking to the Evening Times, answered: “Absolutely, that’s a fact. We’re in a competition to try and win things and that’s on our minds, that’s what we’re judged on – always.

“It’s early in the season and comes quick. You don’t have to win many games to get to the end of it. It could be the start of something. We’ve got to look at it like that.

“People will say of the four competitions we’re in priority-wise, it probably sits at the bottom, but not for us. It’s the one that comes first, it’s the first Final. We want to try and get as far as we possibly can.

“When you’re associated with this club as a player or on the coaching staff, it’s about winning. You’ve got to win – similar to when I was at Liverpool – and you have a greater chance of winning at a club like this.

“This club is about winning and we have to try and get back to winning ways.”

FLORIAN KAMBERI, a reported £2million target for Basel, netted twice in Hibs’ 5-3 Betfred League Cup extra-time triumph over Morton at Easter Road.

However, assistant Head Coach Robbie Stockdale believes the 24-year-old Swiss striker must show more consistency to make the most of his attributes.

The Edinburgh side’s No.2, speaking to BBC Sport, said: “Flo was good. He looked quick, strong and took his goals well.

“He is not your typical big centre-forward. For all he looks like he should be really dominant in the air, he has a better touch than that, he is quick.

“His consistency needs to improve and he will be the first to admit that.”

Kamberi, who joined on a permanent deal last summer after a six-month loan spell, has claimed four goals in five starts this season.


About Author


Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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