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BACK PAGE BULLETIN: MONEYBAGS ENGLISH SIDE’S EYES ON EDOUARD, BARISIC IN EURO STRUGGLE, FLECK’S SCOTS BOOST

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ODSONNE EDOUARD looks to be on Carlo Ancelotti’s radar as the Italian boss prepares for a multi-million pound rebuild at Everton in the summer.

Celtic goalkeeping legend Pat Bonner revealed on BBC Scotland yesterday that one of the top talent scouts from the Merseyside club was in attendance to watch the champions overcome Kilmarnock 3-1 yesterday.

Edouard was on target for his 26th strike of the campaign as the Hoops moved 12 points ahead in the pursuit of their ninth successive title.

Bonner, who was co-commentating on the action for the broadcaster, admitted the Goodison spy had raved about the French ace and skipper-for-the-day Callum McGregor as they chatted before the game.

The Republic of Ireland international icon said: “Celtic will probably have to sell one or two players in the summer.

“Edouard looks like he could be one. I was talking to one of the scouts from Everton who was here today.

“He’s talking so highly of guys like McGregor and Edouard and they are attracting the attention of big clubs.”

Ancelotti, who saw his team lose 3-2 to Arsenal at The Emirates yesterday, has been promised a transfer war chest by the Everton bosses who are determined to get out of the shadow cast by Champions League winners and Premier League title favourites Liverpool.

The much-travelled and highly-experienced coach has been in charge of some of Europe’s top clubs such as Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, AC Milan, Paris Saint-Germain and Chelsea.

He was sacked by Napoli in December and a fortnight later took over as Everton manager after agreeing a lucrative four-and-a-half year contract.

There is expected to be a whirlwind of activity at the club in the summer and Edouard, who still has two years to run on his Hoops deal, is likely to be discussed, at least.

BORNA BARISIC is rated at 50/50 for Rangers’ Europa League second leg against Braga in Portugal on Wednesday night.

The Croatian left-back limped off during last week’s dramatic 3-2 comeback triumph for the Scots who looked down and out as they trailed by two goals at one stage in the second-half.

Boss Steven Gerrard, speaking to the Daily Record, said: “He is a doubt right now, but I am hopeful. The injury is not long term. We hope he will have an outside chance for Wednesday.

“I have got some thinking to do and I have to get the decision right because the team have given me something to think about now.

“We should be talking about a real positive win against St Johnstone on the back of a tough European night, but, unfortunately, I will go away frustrated because of the goals we conceded.”

JOHN FLECK, who will be included in Steve Clark’es Scotland international squad for the Euro 2020 play-off semi-final with Israel at Hampden on March 26, has agreed a new contract with Sheffield United.

The 28-year-old former Rangers prospect has signed until the summer of 2023.

Fleck has been one of the team’s stand-out performers in the top flight this season and has scored five goals and provided two assists in 24 matches.

He had less than 18 months to run on his previous deal, but is now committed to the Bramall Lane outfit for the next three-and-a-half years.

Fleck has slao had spells at Blackpool and Coventry City and joined United in 2016. He has claimed 13 goals in 160 appearances, helping them to win promotion to the Championship and then the Premier League.

They are currently seventh in the league after 27 games.

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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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