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BACK PAGE BULLETIN: EX-CELT AIMS TO BE WORLD’S BEST DEFENDER, DONS LOAN SNUB, NAISMITH’S PARKHEAD AIM, KENT MYSTERY, ALLAN VOW

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LIAM MORRISON quit Celtic to join Bayern Munich in his bid to become the best defender in the world.

The 16-year-old centre-back made the shock move from the champions to the Bundesliga giants as he sealed a three-year deal at the weekend.

Morrison made his Hoops first team debut in a 6-1 pre-season friendly win over Pinkafeld in Austria and the club made him an offer to keep him at Parkhead.

However, the Ayrshire teenager knocked them back and described the move to Bavaria as “a no-brainer”.

The talented pivot revealed he will use ex-Celt Vrigil van Dijk, Liverpool’s £75million back-four operator, as his inspiration as he embarks upon a new career in Germany.

THE DUTCH MASTER…Virgil van Dijk in action for Celtic in 2014.

Morrison, speaking to the Daily Mail, said: “The final goal for me is to be the best defender in the world.

“That is the ultimate goal. How I get there is by constantly trying to make myself a better player.

“Playing alongside great players can only help me in that respect.

“I take inspiration from Virgil van Dijk. He has been unbelievable since moving to Liverpool and you could see even when he was at Celtic what a great player he was.

“It needs so much hard work and I know I have a long way to go to get to where I want to be. I have to keep my feet on the ground and stay grounded and work hard.”

Morrison added: “Celtic tried hard to keep me, but my decision was already made as soon as Bayern came in.

“I loved every minute of my time at Celtic and I have to thank every one of the people I worked with who helped me so much.

“But when the Bayern offer came along, it’s not really a club you can turn down, is it?”

Neil Lennon had high hopes for Morrison after introducing him to the first team during the pre-season trip to Austria and Switzerland, but the manager and the club’s hierarchy had to admit defeat in their bid to keep him at Parkhead when Bayern made their offer.

STEVIE MAY has seen a loan attempt from St Johstone booted out by Aberdeen.

The former Perth striker, who still has two years of his Pittodrie contract to run, has been his old boss Tommy Wright’s priority target before the September 2 deadline.

However, the Dons, who paid £400,000 to sign May from Preston two years ago, are not interested in a temporary switch and would prefer a cash bid for the 26-year-old forward who has been deemed surplus to requirements and hasn’t even made the bench in recent games.

Saints are also interested in taking Oli Shaw on-loan from Hibs, but finances have stalled that deal.

STEVEN NAISMITH has targeted Celtic at Parkhead on Sunday as he hopes to make his Hearts comeback.

The veteran striker and central defender John Souttar have an outside chance of returning from injury for the trip to the east end of Glasgow.

The two players have been going through their paces at the Riccarton training ground after respective hamstring and ankle injuries.

Tynecastle boss Craig Levein, speaking to the Edinburgh Evening News, said: “Naisy might make the weekend. If not, he will make the Hamilton game. John is the same. Both of them are back running, so it just depends how quickly they can go from running to contact training.

“If they can do that later on this week, then they will have a chance of playing on Sunday. It would be a massive boost to get those two back, so we will keep our fingers crossed.”

RYAN KENT, who has been on Steven Gerrard’s wanted list all summer after last season’s impressive loan spell at Rangers, appears to be out in the cold at Liverpool who have slapped an £8million price tag on his head.

The 22-year-old winger hit out at the Anfield side last week on social media, putting up a post that suggested he feels the club are preventing him from moving forward. He also believes they are demanding too much money for him in a transfer fee.

This came just a few days after Kent played in front of fewer than 200 fans for the Under-23 side against Spurs.

Now he has even lost his place in the reserve squad with a question mark hanging over his Liverpool future.

SCOTT ALLAN has promised he has a lot more to contribute to Hibs, claiming he is operating at less than 80 per cent of his capabilities.

The 27-year-old midfielder, who joined the Easter Road club for the third time after coming to the end of his Celtic contract, scored his fourth goal of the campaign in the 5-3 Betfred League Cup victory over Morton at the weekend, which equals his previous best in an entire season.

Allan, speaking to Hibs TV, said: “I still have a lot more to give having been out for a year. I’m still getting back the awareness, the sharpness.

“I don’t think I am 80 per cent of what I can do with the ball. It’s a work in progress, but I am happy with where I am at the moment.”

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Editor

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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