Ange Postecoglou’s league leaders are fresh off the back of competing in the Sydney Super Cup in Australia, while the Rangers squad have returned from a two-week mid-season break with Michael Beale taking over the reigns at Ibrox.
Here are the latest headlines involving the two Glasgow clubs today:
Championship club ‘considering’ Griffiths move
Scottish Championship side Greenock Morton want to bring former Celtic striker Leigh Griffiths to Cappielow in January, according to reports.
The ex-Hoops and Scotland international has been without a club since returning from a short stint in Australia with West State League Division outfit Mandurah City, where he played just two games.
Griffiths, who has also turned out for Dundee and Falkirk in recent years, was training with Livingston in a bid to maintain his fitness and win a deal elsewhere.
Transfer specialist Fabrizio Romano claims the Parkhead club has an understanding in principle with Montreal over a transfer fee ahead of the right-back finalising personal terms. He tweeted: “Celtic have reached verbal agreement with Montreal to sign Alistair Johnston on permanent deal, now waiting for final details. Johnston’s contract will be discussed in order to get the deal done and sealed.”
Football Scotland claim Morton boss Dougie Imrie is looking to strengthen his attacking options with a marquee signing and could be set to offer Griffiths a short-term deal until the summer when the transfer window opens.
Ton sit second in the table with just one point separating them from the summit, currently occupied by Ayr United. It’s understood Imrie has held discussions with Livi boss David Martindale regarding the player’s condition.
Hoops flop claims Scottish football was too ’physical’
Celtic flop Albian Ajeti claims he struggled in Glasgow because of the physicality of Scottish football.
The Swiss international, who made just 13 league starts since his £4.5million move from West Ham in 2020, was loaned out to Austrian Bundesliga side Sturm Graz in the summer after being informed he wasn’t part of manager Ange Postecoglou’s long-term plans.
Ajeti has enjoyed a new lease of life in Austria and admits he has adapted better due to the league being less ‘aggressive’.
He admitted: “In contrast to Scotland, the league is not quite as aggressive. In Scotland it is even more physical and much stronger in the tackles. Here in Austria the ball gets moved faster and that’s good for football and for us strikers anyway. To be honest, it’s not easy to compare the Austrian league with Scotland and Switzerland.
“Many in Europe have noticed the progress made in recent years - especially of course the many teams that play European football and do so successfully. Compared to Switzerland where the quality has gone down a bit in the last few years, I have to say that Austria has a better league with more quality.
“At the end of the last transfer window I had several offers, but for me, playing was clearly the priority because I had very few minutes behind me and Sturm Graz opened an exciting door for me, so I almost couldn’t say no. I immediately noticed they wanted to work with me here and take me to the next level.”
Gers boss eager to keep Morelos and Kent
Michael Beale has confirmed Alfredo Morelos and Ryan Kent will need to earn new Rangers deals if they want them.
Both players are out of contract at the end of the season and while admitted he’d ideally like to keep the pair, Beale hasn’t been impressed with their performances this season and has laid down the gauntlet to the duo.
He told Sky Sports: “They are two players that I’ve worked with previously. When I was here previously they were both excellent in different ways. In Alfredo, in terms of the goals he scored, and Ryan in terms of the way he entertained people and got on the ball and took the game to the opponent.
“I think they’re capable of more than they’re showing right now, that’s fair to say, but they’ll have their own reasons for that and they’ll be working away at that. I trust both players and we’ve played this out as a club before with Connor Goldson and his contrat situation.
“Sometimes a player wants to see and take their time, there’s no problem, it’s fine. I think the option is both ways with the players, the cards aren’t in Ryan and Alfredo’s hands. We also want to create a stronger Rangers going forward, with or without those players. Ideally with them.”
Balogun transfer speculation raised
QPR fans are understood to have raised concerns that former Rangers defender Leon Balogun could be heading back to Ibrox after missing yesterday’s mid-season friendly clash with Livingston.
The experienced Nigerian centre-back was released by the Glasgow club at the end of his contract before being snapped up as one of Michael Beale’s first summer signings at the English Championship club.
Balogun was replaced by John Souttar and Ben Davies under Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s short tenure, but QPR supporters are starting to question if Beale will attempt to lure the 34-year-old back to Govan in January.
Balogun missed the final Championship match prior to the World Cup break through a calf injury, but his absence on Tuesday didn’t stop one fan from posting on Twitter: “He’s away back to Rangers with Beale.”