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BACK PAGE BULLETIN: CELTIC STAR IN TRANSFER RIDDLE, EX-HOOPS DEFENDER RETURNS, GERS REJECT’S CAP CALL, LEVEIN KEEPER HOPE 

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ODSONNE EDOUARD was on the brink of a sensational big-money move to Monaco in the summer, according to French sports journal L’Equipe and reported in The Scotsman.

The story states Celtic’s £10million record signing was on his way back to his homeland only one year after agreeing a permanent deal from Paris Saint-Germain.

The classy 22-year-old striker earned a full-time contract at the champions after impressing during his initial 12-month temporary transfer.

The fans’ favourite proved to be a big-game player last season and sealed the treble treble for the Hoops with his two-goal strike against Hearts in the Scottish Cup Final at Hampden on May 25.

That was enough to catch the attention of the French giants and reports insisted the player had agreed in principle to the switch after the initial approach in June before the club inexplicably pulled out at an advanced stage.

L’equipe stated Monaco made a belated attempt for Edouard before Monday’s transfer deadline, but the Under-21 international was not interested and was happy to remain at Parkhead, going into the second year of a four-year deal.

He has started the season in fine scoring form and has netted six goals in 11 appearances, including the opening goal against Rangers at Ibox on Sunday.

MARK WILSON, the former Celtic and Dundee United defender, has been named new boss of League Two strugglers Brechin City who sacked ex-Dundee manager Barry Smith last month.

The one-time Scotland international right-back has returned to the dug-out over two years after leaving Airdrie.

Wilson faces a tough task to revive the fortunes of the Glebe Park outfit after successive relegations and just one win from their first five games in the bottom division.

But the 35-year-old gaffer, who made 131 appearances for the Hoops and 157 over two spells at United, told the Daily Record: “I am delighted to be given the opportunity to manage Brechin City and can’t wait to meet the players and get started.

“We have a squad of players mixed with youth and experience that I believe can improve on the position we currently sit in after five games of the season.

“Myself and my backroom staff look forward to the challenge and hope we can deliver a successful period for the club.”

KYLE LAFFERTY, the Rangers reject who joined Norwegian strugglers Sarpsbog last week, has been called into the Northern Ireland squad for tonight’s friendly against Luxembourg and Monday’s Euro 2020 qualifier with Germany, both at Windsor Park.

Oxford United winger Mark Sykes replaces injured Gers star Jordan Jones who was sent off in his new club’s 2-0 loss against Celtic at Ibrox on Sunday.

Lafferty, 31, has scored 20 times in 73 appearances for his country, with his last goal coming in 2016.

CRAIG LEVEIN hopes on-loan Manchester United goalkeeper Joel Pereira will be fit for the visit of Motherwell on September 14.

The Portuguese shotstopper suffered a thigh strain in the Edinburgh side’s 3-1 loss to Celtic last month and missed the 2-2 draw with Hamilton at Tynecastle as Colin Doyle deputised.

But the 23-year-old should be fit to return against Stephen Robinson’s men as the team chase their first league win of the season.

Levein, speaking to the Edinburgh Evening News, said: “Joel should be okay for Motherwell. He had a slight strain in the Celtic game.

“He’s gone from playing reserve football at Man United to being thrown into first-team training and matches in quick succession, so he’s just got a little bit of a thigh strain from kicking.

“I’m hopeful that will settle down and he’ll be ready.”

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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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