European clubs ‘circle’ Celtic defender amid exit talk as Rangers icon makes transfer admission
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The 2023/24 Scottish Premiership season begins tomorrow as reigning champions Celtic get ready to launch their title defender at home to Ross County, while Rangers travel to face Kilmarnock in Ayrshire.
It is going to be a bumper weekend across Scotland with all four SPFL divisions getting underway. Meanwhile, the ongoing summer transfer window continues to dominate the news cycle. Here are the latest Celtic and Rangers transfer news headlines on Friday, August 4:
Rangers icon makes transfer admission
Ally McCoist reckons the Scottish Premiership title race is too close to call this season, with a new-look Rangers side aiming to sustain a stronger challenge than they managed last term.
Both managers have made several additions to their respective squads, with Ibrox boss Michael Beale slightly busier after recruiting as many as NINE new faces.
Another intriguing campaign will kick off this weekend and while admitting he has yet to be impressed with Rangers in pre-season, McCoist indicated the title race could easily go right down to the wire.
Speaking to TNT Sports, he said: “This is the first year in a long, long time where I genuinely don’t know who wins it. Celtic have lost one or two, lost Jota but I wouldn’t say Brendan left under a cloud. I think there was a section of the Celtic support who weren’t happy because he left at that time and went to Leicester and I get that, but you can’t please everyone all the time.
“One thing that is undeniable is that he is an excellent coach and knows how to set up a team. I thought he was a little bit unlucky and harshly treated at Leicester because I don’t think he got the money to spend to replace the real quality that needed replacement. Just in my opinion, I think he was cut a bit short there. They’ll back him at Celtic.
“Over at our place, Michael Beale has brought in nine players. I watched them against Newcastle in pre-season, did OK. I watched them against Olympiacos, didn’t look great. Didn’t look good in the first half against Hoffenheim and then looked great in the second half. So, I don’t really know but of course Rangers and Celtic have got to hit the groud running, particularly Rangers with the (Champions League) qualifier coming up.
“It is a tough one to call. I don’t know how Rangers’ players will settle in. They brought them in quickly.”
European clubs ‘circle’ Celtic defender amid exit talk
Carl Starfelt could be in line for a shock Celtic exit before the end of the transfer window, with clubs beginning to ‘circle’ around the central defender.
Russian giants Spartak Moscow expressed an interest in signing the Swedish international last week and were reportedly preparing to table an offer to the Hoops as they look to add experience to their youthful backline.
The 28-year-old is also a target for other unnamed clubs, with the Scottish Sun reporting that Celtic are bracing themselves for bids amid mounting summer interest in Starfelt who still have two years left on his contract.
Snapped up for £4million from Rubin Kazan at the start of Ange Postecoglou’s Parkhead revolution, the defender has helped to solidify Celtic’s rearguard alongside Cameron Carter-Vickers. He has been plagued with several knocks over the past 12 months, but the recent arrival of Polish ace Maik Nawrocki could be seen as a tailor-made replacement.