Rangers defender sent promise by National Team boss, Celtic ‘identify’ two key positions to strengthen in January
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Ange Postecoglou’s Premiership leaders lost their opening Sydney Super Cup match this morning, while Rangers boss Giovanni van Bronckhorst and his squad are enjoying some downtime ahead of resuming training in just under a fortnight’s time.
Here are some of the latest headlines involving the two Glasgow giants today:
Yilmaz given Turkey promise by head coach
Turkey boss Stefan Kuntz has issued a promise to Ridvan Yilmaz - capped six times by his country - that he will come to watch the Rangers defender in action once he’s back to full fitness.
The left-back is currently sidelined until the end of the year due to a hamstring injury sustained against Aberdeen last month but his German national team boss insists he remains a firm part of his plans going forward.
Knutz, who watched his side beat Scotland 2-1 in an international friendly in Diyarbakir last night, said: “For Yilmaz it was first about getting over the emotion of leaving Besiktas who are one of the biggest clubs in Turkey. But I saw Rangers in the Europa League final against Frankfurt, so I was thinking this would be a good decision for Ridvan’s development.
“He has a great team and support around him, but also a great coach as well, so I’m really sad he’s injured and that this development stage has stopped for some weeks. If I’m right he has to stop until the end of the year, then it will take some more time. After that I will definitely come to Scotland to watch him
Van Bronckhorst counting on Gers board to keep job
Respected Dutch football journalist Marcel van der Kraan reckons Giovanni van Bronckhorst is relying on the Rangers board to give him more time to turn the club’s fortunes around.
GVB has been powerless to stop Celtic from racing into a nine-point advantage in the title race and wth performances and results not up to scratch, many fans believe now is the perfect time to pary company with the 47-year-old.
Van Der Kraan pointed to the club’s lengthy injury list as a key reason behind why his countryman should be allowed some respite.
He told Sky Sports: “I think he (Gio) is counting on the fact he will be there once the World Cup is over. He’s gone on holiday at the moment, he is aware that there is some unrest among the fans, but if you look at the way he entered the club... Rangers is a massive club in Scotland and has a reputation in Europe, you can see that.
“He had very little to invest, but they carried on in the Champions League this season. They played against big teams with a very limited squad, and that squad was not built for the Champions League. He knows he has to work harder with his team, but he needs players with ten injuries at the moment.
“He has the backing of the board, and he is counting on their backing because they have not invested any more. If you see the amount of injuries they’ve had, it would be very unfair to sack him.”
Hoops ‘identify’ two key positions to strengthen in January
Celtic will look to sign a new striker and a full-back in the upcoming January transfer window, it has been reported.
The Hoops have yet to agree a new deal with right-back Josip Juranovic - under contract until 2026 - and could be forced to sell the Croatian to maximise profit with a host of European clubs expressing an interest.
Talks have been placed on hold until after the World Cup. If Juranovic does depart, new Celtic Head of Recruitment Mark Lawwell is undersootd to be ready to scour the market for a possible replacement.
The Daily Record claim adding another attacking option to the squad is also on the club’s wishlist, with Kyogo Furuhashi and Giorgos Giakoumakis the only two established strikers on the books.
Postecoglou breaks silence on Everton & Japan links
Ange Postecoglou has played down links to Everton and the Japan National Team, insisting he wants to achieve “something special” at Celtic.
The Hoops have been relentless on the domestic front so far this season and Postecoglou reckons the best is yet to come from his side, despite emerging as a firm contender for both job roles.
He stated: “It’s not that I’m ignorant to this kind of stuff. These things will always happen. It’s just not the way I’m wired. I love what I’m doing, I’m just so passionate about this club and achieving success. But I haven’t yet achieved what I want to.
”Whatever role I’ve had, that’s always been my primary focus. The future will take care of itself. I’m under no illusions, I know how fickle the football world is. Last year people were saying I would do for very different reasons. Things can change very quickly.
“I’ve never worried about what will happen in the future, what’s out there or what my next step is. What I do is focus on something I’m passionate about and I couldn’t be happier. I don’t get distracted, I don’t think there any use in it. I love what I do. While I’m here, I’m totally focused and committed to achieving something special. I want to make a mark and you can one day walk back in and be appreciated.”