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BACK PAGE BULLETIN: WANYAMA LINED UP FOR SWAP, EX-CELTIC STAR: ‘RANGERS COULD DO WITH A SIGNING OR TWO’, DUFFY’S DEPUTY SEARCH

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FORMER Celtic fans’ favourite Victor Wanyama has been offered as a makeweight in Jose Mourinho’s pursuit of AC Milan’s Krzysztof Piatek.

The Kenyan international powerhouse, who has been linked with a return to Parkhead in the last two transfer windows, has been offered along with Spurs team-mates Erik Lamela and Juan Foyth for the 24-year-old Polish striker, according to Italian sports journal La Gazzetta dello Sport.

They insist Mourinho is desperate to get a deal for Piatek over the line before the midnight deadline on Friday.

Other reports indicate the Portuguese coach will accept a bid of under £9million for the 28-year-old who was valued at £13million in the summer.

He has made only one appearance for Spurs since the arrival of Mourinho.

Hoops gaffer Neil Lennon has admitted he has remained a fan of Wanyama who joined the champions in a cut-price £900,000 deal from Belgian outfit Beerschot AC in July 2011.

He moved to Southampton for £12.5million two years later before his £11million switch to the north London side in June 2016. He was lined up for a £13million deal with Clubbe Brugge in the summer, but it collapsed due to the player’s personal concerns.

Turkish giants Galatasaray also also watching developments.

CHARLIE NICHOLAS reckons Rangers are heading for another title nightmare – unless Steven Gerrard can produce something special in the transfer market before the midnight deadline on Friday.

The former Celtic striker insisted the Ibrox side’s 2-1 defeat against Hearts at Tynecastle on Sunday leaves them with an uphill battle to catch up with his old team who are now five points clear at the Premiership pinnacle, although the Govan men have a game in hand.

Summer arrivals Brandon Barker and Jordan Jones appear to be heading for the exit – as Scotzine reported earlier today – and their outgoing would undoubtedly help the Gers budget.

Nicholas, speaking to the Daily Express, said: “While the Ibrox side are not out of the title race yet, if they slip up again their ambitions could fade away just like they did this time last season.

“Rangers can’t afford to go into the next Old Firm game in March thinking if they lose that the title is over.

“They look to be labouring a bit since they have come back from the break.

“Rangers could do with a signing or two to try and liven things up and really inspire and to show they are serious about challenging.

“This time last season, they went into the market and brought in Jermain Defoe and Steven Davis. Strengthening your team brings an impetus, a freshness and you get competition.

“Rangers have relied on 13 or 14 players to put them into a position to challenge.

“Injuries and suspensions are having an impact. Look at his team on Sunday. Jon Flanagan’s no James Tavernier at right-back, Steven Davis had his poorest game of the season, Glen Kamara was below-par, there was the Ryan Jack injury, the centre-halves looked awkward and Jermain Defoe can’t slip defenders the way Alfredo Morelos can.

“Celtic have more strength in depth and can afford to put Odsonne Edouard on the bench.”

JIM DUFFY, the Dumbarton boss, has lost his right-hand man Craig McPherson who has quit to take a coaching role at Rangers’ academy.

The Sons’ No.2 joined the club in September 2018 while Stevie Aitken was in charge. He left a month later following the sacking of the manager.

McPherson, though, was back in the dug-out a fortnight later as assistant to Duffy who he had previously worked with at Morton where they won the 2014/15 League One title.

Duffy will now search for a new deputy and attempt to get the coach in place as soon as possible.

 

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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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