FORMER Celtic target Jordan Rhodes is likely to be on his way from Sheffield Wednesday in the summer.
The Scotland international striker was first linked with the Hoops when he made the breakthrough at Huddersfield in 2011 when Neil Lennon, in his first stint as Parkhead boss, took a look at the exciting prospect in person. There was interest in the self-confessed Hoops fan, but there was no way the club could match the £8million transfer fee paid by Blackburn Rovers a year later.
And 30-year-old Rhodes, with one season left on his contract, was again mentioned with the champions in January when reports stated a loan move had fallen through because of the financial demands of the Hillsborough outfit.
However, Owls chairman Dejphon Chansiri rubbished the speculation when he told Yorkshire Live: “I was informed Celtic had supposedly made an offer, but we demanded a very big loan fee that stopped the deal. This is not true, there was no official approach or offer at all.”
Rhodes made the switch to Wednesday from Middlesbrough in February 2017 via a loan contract before the Owls splashed out a club record fee of £8million – equalling Blackburn’s offer five years earlier – to make it permanent.
The hitman, whose dad Andy was a former keeper at St Johnstone and Dunfermline, spent last term on loan at Norwich, where he helped the Carrow Road outfit gain promotion to the Premier League. But this season hasn’t gone to plan for the player after falling out of favour under Garry Monk.
It is unlikely the gaffer will stand in his way if Rhodes wants to quit the club after falling down the pecking order behind the likes of fellow-Scots international Steven Fletcher, Fernando Forestieri, Connor Wickham and ex-Ranger Josh Windass.
Long-term admirers Celtic could be tempted – but only if the price is right.
GLENN MIDDLETON insists he is determined to prove his worth during his current loan deal from Rangers to Bradford City.
The 20-year-old winger, who was signed by Steven Gerrard from Norwich City in January 2018, spent the first half of the campaign at Hibs on a temporary transfer, but made only six appearances before being returned to the Ibrox outfit.
Former Gers midfielder Stuart McCall snapped up the raider in January, but Middleton has played only three games for the League Two outfit.
With the game in lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, the youngster is hoping to use the time to get up to full speed so he’s raring to go when football returns.
Middleton, speaking to the Yorkshire Post, said: “I’m desperate to really put my mark down and show everyone what I’m capable of on a football pitch.
“I’m still learning, I’m still young, but at the same time I’m desperate to play football – but that’s up to me, I need to put in the performances to show the manager so that he can trust me to do so.
“I’ve got high expectations of myself, which is why you play for big clubs who have high expectations of their players and it’s down to me to put performances on every week.
“I am raring to go and get some games under my belt. I’ve been on two loans this season and although at times it might not have been smooth sailing for me, I’ve definitely learned a lot.”
The Scotland Under-21 international added: “Every league that you play in has its different challenges, I think it’s just about how quickly, as a player, you can adapt. I think that’s one of the benefits of going out on loan as a young player, learning all of these things.
“On and off the pitch, you’re going to have to learn to deal with things, but that’s what it’s all about, developing as a player and especially as a person in different situations that you come across.”
JAMES McPAKE is spending his time in isolation plotting for a new, improved Dundee team for next season.
The Dens Park boss, like everyone else in the game, doesn’t know what is happening at the moment during the emergency halt to the campaign, but that hasn’t stopped him from looking ahead.
McPake, told the Scottish Sun: “The recruitment work between myself and Dave Mackay is still ongoing and that’s something we are focused on, building a team for when we start again.
“You can do that from home. Ideally, you go and watch players, but I think we’ve seen enough of the ones we are targeting.
“It’s the one bit of my job that is still going on.”