Rangers ‘monitoring’ £5m-rated Blackpool striker, Celtic star named in provisional World Cup squad

The latest Rangers and Celtic and transfer news on Monday.
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Rangers and Celtic endured mixed fortunes during another action-packed weekend in the Scottish Premiership.

Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s side left it late to rescue a point in a 1-1 draw with Livingston at Ibrox, while reigning champions Celtic edged a seven-goal thriller against Hearts at Tynecastle to open a four point lead at the top of the table.

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Here is all the latest Celtic and Rangers transfer news below...

Rangers ‘monitoring’ £5m-rated Blackpool striker

Rangers face stiff competition from two English Premier League clubs for Blackpool striker Jerry Yates ahead of a potential January transfer battle.

The Ibrox side are reportedly keeping tabs on the 25-year-old, who scored twice in Saturday’s 4-2 EFL Championship victory over Preston North End - taking his tally to eight goals for the season.

Jerry Yates has been linked with Rangers. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)Jerry Yates has been linked with Rangers. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
Jerry Yates has been linked with Rangers. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

According to the Scottish Sun, the Light Blues were among ten clubs to send a scout to Bloomfield Road to watch the £5million-rated forward, who still has two years remaining on his contract.

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Brentford, AFC Bornemouth, West Brom and Watford also had representatives in attendance to run the rule over Yates but Blackpool won’t want to lose their top scorer for a bargain fee, meaning their decision to sell this winter could be the most profitiable move for the Lancashire outfit.

Yates netted 20 times in the first season with Blackpool as he helped fire the club to promotion from League One. He managed just eight goals in 39 apperances last term but has already equalled that tally in less than half the games this season.

Seasiders boss Michael Appleton has deployed Yates on the left wing in recent weeks, a position he has scored six times from in his last four matches

McCoist dismisses Gerrard return speculation

Rangers legend Ally McCoist has rubbished claims Steven Gerrard could make a stunning managerial return to Ibrox in the near future.

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The former Light Blues boss was relieved of his duties by English Premier League side Aston Villa after just 11 months in charge last week and has since been rumoured with a potential comeback amid increasing calls for his successor Giovanni van Bronckhorst to be sacked.

Gerrard was sacked this weekGerrard was sacked this week
Gerrard was sacked this week

The Dutchman has admitted himself that he’s feeling the pressure over his Rangers future after Saturday’s lacklustre 1-1 draw with Livingston but McCoist is adamant Gerrard won’t be the man to take over, if Van Bronckhorst does leave.

Speaking on talkSPORT, McCoist said: “No, I think that ship has sailed. I think it would be absolutely split with the fans, I really do. It might surprise some, I think a lot of people would take him back with open arms but there is still a bad taste in some of the supporters’ mouths with the way it ended.

“I think that ship has sailed but there is no doubt Giovanni is under a bit of pressure. My thoughts are that I am going to be watching the Napoli encounter from behind the couch. Through fingers like that (over his face). He’s under pressure because the last two, maybe last three performances have been really, really poor.

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“I’ll tell you right now, that Napoli game, I’m only half joking, I will be watching that from behind the couch, dear me.”

Jota handed World Cup dream

Celtic winger Jota has been named in Portugal’s provisional 55-man squad for the FIFA World Cup in November.

The Hoops star has been rewarded for his impressive form with the Scottish champions by securing a spot in head coach Fernando Santos’ latest squad - joining some of the world’s best players including Manchester United duo Cristiano Ronaldo and Bruno Fernandes.

It remains unlikely the 23-year-old will be included in Santos’ final 26-man squad for the tournament in Qatar but the inclusion will provide Jota with a major confidence boost after catching the eye on the national team boss.

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Jota made the move to Parkhead permanent from Benfica over the summer following a successful loan spell last term and he has carried that momentum forward by netting five goals and five assists so far.

Celtic forward Jota is hoping to reach the World Cup with Portugal.Celtic forward Jota is hoping to reach the World Cup with Portugal.
Celtic forward Jota is hoping to reach the World Cup with Portugal.

Speaking last year, Jota admitted a call-up to the senior national team wasn’t at the forefront of his mind but revealed it would be a dream come true to join up with his footballing idol in the future.

He said: “Cristiano has been an idol during the last decade. I looked to him a few times and took notice of the things he did, like his work ethic and the way he played on the pitch. He’s someone to look out for and to believe in his ideas about football. It’s not easy to make the national team in Portugal, it’s very competitive.

“I have to be proud that my country has so many good players. Getting a call from Portugal isn’t a thing I think about at the moment. I think it’s more important to deliver good results for my club. Everything will come in time. I just want to do it this way.”

Ex-Hoops defender named as new Exeter City boss

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Former Celtic and Scotland defender Gary Caldwell has sealed a return to management after being appointed Exeter City boss.

Caldwell, who had managerial spells at Wigan Athletic, Chesterfield and Partick Thistle, will take charge of the English League One outfit ahead of their domestic clash with Derby County tomorrow.

The 40-year-old has been on the lookout for a new job since leaving Hibernian in April after serving as assistant manager to Shaun Maloney.

He was briefly appointed interim manager of Newcastle United’s Under-23 side last year and will now start his new role with the Grecians, who currently sit in 8th place after earning promotion from League Two last term.

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Caldwell replaces Matt Taylor at St James Park after he left the club earlier this month to join Rotherham United. A club statement read: “Gary brings a great deal of experience to our club and we’re excited and optmistic for the future.”

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