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BACK PAGE BULLETIN: CELTIC ACE BOUND FOR STATES, EX-HOOPS TARGET BATTLES BACK, AXED WHELAN SLAMS HEARTS

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LEWIS MORGAN is flying back from Celtic’s training HQ in Dubai for talks over a permanent move to David Beckham’s Inter Miami.

The Hoops have accepted a six-figure sum for the winger from the Major League Soccer new boys, according to a report in the Daily Record.

Morgan, who cost £300,000 when Brendan Rodgers signed him from St Mirren in January 2018, is now heading home for talks with the US outfit, his agent and his family.

The 23-year-old Scotland international forward will decide over the next 48 hours whether or not he wants to move to the States, where he has been offered a lucrative long-term deal.

Manchester United and England international legend Beckham has already tried to land Gareth Bale from Real Madrid and is trying to put together a squad that will compete at the top level.

He has already appointed Diego Alonso as their new head coach and are looking to build a young, entertaining team and Morgan falls into that category. The player’s agents also have strong links in America.

The recently-capped ace has already had loan spells at his former Paisley club and Sunderland in English League One. He has struggled for game time although he started the 1-0 Betfred League Cup Final triumph over Rangers at Hampden last month.

He lasted an hour before being replaced by Odsonne Edouard with the scoreline deadlocked at 0-0.

Morgan now has to decide if he wants to follow his fellow-international colleagues Johnny Russell, who is at Sporting Kansas City, and Gary Mackay-Steven, who is at New York City who appointed ex-Hoops gaffer Ronny Deila as manager earlier this week.

Miami where formed by Beckham in January 2018 and will kick off in the MLS on February 22.

DAVID TURNBULL, the Motherwll midfielder who saw a £3.25million switch to Celtic fall through in the summer, is on his way back.

Fir Park chief executive Alan Burrows insists the Scotland Under-21 star will recapture the form that led to the champions to making their bid.

He club supremo revealed the playmaker is on course to make his comeback in the “not-too-distant” future after undergoing a summer knee operation.

The player’s proposed move to the champions collapsed after a medical highlighted a problem, forcing Turnbull to undergo preventative surgery.

Burrows, speaking to the Scottish Sun, said: “For all that to be taken away must have been mentally tough for him.

“I think the way he’s handled it and handled himself at the club has been nothing short of miraculous for a 20-year-old boy.

“He has shown a lot of maturity beyond his years and got his head down and dealt with it.

“That gives me the utmost confidence that he will come back the player he was because he is so focused on getting back.

“The hardest part at the club is putting the reins on him, really, to make sure he does not go over excessive and doesn’t break down.

“His progress is going as well as we had hoped at this time.

“He’s on course and I’m really excited to see the current team adding David Turnbull into the mix. Hopefully, fans get to see that in the not too distant future.”

GLENN WHELAN says he has been “thrown under a bus” by new Hearts boss Daniel Stendel after being axed this week.

The 35-year-old Republic of Ireland midfielder, who was under contract until the end of the season, accused the Edinburgh club of being “amateurish” in dealing with his departure.

Whelan, speaking to the Irish Independent, insisted: “Things were being said about me, that I didn’t fancy it, I was laying down the tools. No way was that the case.

“When the new manager came in, the first person he spoke to was me. He was already having a bit of a go.

“My form was good for the last few months, but the manager came in and wanted to show his power, show the other players that he’s the boss, he’s the main man.

“I do feel let down. The way my name is out there now it feels like I have been thrown under a bus.”

Whelan started two of Stendel’s first three games last month, but did not feature again before his exit.

He says he found out on Christmas Day, via a players’ WhatsApp group, that he was not in the squad for the Boxing Day defeat by Hibs and that the German coach refused to discuss why he had dropped him.

The Irishman said: “I went to the manager to try and have a word. He was watching videos of the Hibs game and said he didn’t have time to speak to me. That was the last of it for me at Hearts.

“I can’t accept him coming out and questioning my leadership skills or saying I didn’t do the job – I did the job he asked.”

Whelan was also unhappy with the way Hearts, who sit bottom of the Premiership, informed him of his departure.

He added: “They call themselves a professional football club, but I never heard anything from anyone at Hearts.

“On Monday night, I got an email from someone at the club with the contract details, asking me to sign so we could go our separate ways. It was all very amateurish from their side.”

 

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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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