Southampton ‘plot move’ for Celtic star, Rangers manager makes Sakala transfer claim

There were claims made about players on both sides of the Old Firm divide this weekend.

Celtic and Rangers continued their Scottish Premier League title battle with hard-earned wins on Saturday afternoon.

The Hoops maintained their place at the top of the table after coming through a severe test at St Johnstone with a dramatic 2-1 win.

An Andy Considine own-goal put the reigning champions in front but they were pegged back by an equaliser from Alex Mitchell in second-half injury-time.

Celtic would not be denied and a last-gasp strike from Giorgos Giakoumakis ensured his side made it eight wins from nine games so far this season.

Rangers were in far more dominant form as they swatted aside St Mirren with a 4-0 win at Ibrox thanks to an Antonio Colak brace and a goal apiece from James Tavernier and Fashion Sakala.

And the future of one of their goalscorers was discussed by manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst after the game.

Rangers boss ‘never wanted’ Zambian star to leave

Fashion Sakala repaid Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s faith on Saturday when he put in a fine display in the Gers 4-0 win against St Mirren.

Fashion Sakala Jr celebrates after scoring Rangers' fourth in the win over St Mirren at Ibrox. (Photo by Alan Harvey / SNS Group)Fashion Sakala Jr celebrates after scoring Rangers' fourth in the win over St Mirren at Ibrox. (Photo by Alan Harvey / SNS Group)
Fashion Sakala Jr celebrates after scoring Rangers' fourth in the win over St Mirren at Ibrox. (Photo by Alan Harvey / SNS Group)

The Zambian international was recalled in place of Ryan Kent and provided an assist and a goal as his side maintained their title push with a comfortable victory. There had been speculation Sakala could leave Ibrox during the summer but Van Bronckhorst has praised the winger and revealed the role he has to play within his squad.

Speaking after the win he said: “I’m really happy with Fashion because the more options I have, the better it is for me. He came on in midweek at Anfield and did well so we wanted to give him a chance.

“I thought he was really good and did what we expected. We’re now able to use the speed we have up front. It makes it so much easier when we have strength in depth in attack.

“I never wanted Fashion to leave in the summer, it was never my intention to let him go. He was talking about his future, like all the players, but it was never my intention to let him go. A lot of players showed with their performances today that they want to play on Wednesday.”

Arsenal target highly-rated Ibrox youngster

Arsenal are reportedly leading the race to sign highly-rated Rangers youngster Jack Wylie.

The 15-year-old defender has been scouted regularly by the Premier League outfit and have continued to monitor his progress in recent months.

According to the Daily Record, the Gunners sent youth scout Lee Herron to Spain to watch the teenager in action for Scotland Under-16s during their double-header against Denmark during the international break.

Wylie, who doesn’t turn 16 until January, isn’t eligible to sign his first professional contract and it’s understood Ibrox officials are desperate to keep a hold of the full-back.

Rangers sold talented striker Rory Wilson to Aston Villa over the summer after accepting a £350,000 bid from the Midlands club.

Southampton eye up move for Celtic star

Celtic star Filipe Jota is a reported target for English Premier League club Southampton - according to Football Insider.

Jota scored Celtic's goal in Leipzig. (Photo by Martin Rose/Getty Images)Jota scored Celtic's goal in Leipzig. (Photo by Martin Rose/Getty Images)
Jota scored Celtic's goal in Leipzig. (Photo by Martin Rose/Getty Images)

The Portuguese winger moved to Glasgow on an initial loan deal last summer and made a major impact by scoring 13 goals and providing 14 assists in 40 appearances in all competitions.

That persuaded Ange Postecoglou to convert the move into a permanent £6.5m deal this summer and Jota has started the new campaign where he left off with five goals and five assists in 12 appearances so far this season.

A report on Football Insider has suggested Southampton have been watching Jota and have received ‘glowing reports’ on the winger’s performances during the first two months of the season.

The report also states the Saints will continue to monitor the former Benfica man before making a decision over whether to make a move for his services.

O’Riley battle heats ups

Crystal Palace are the latest Premier League side eyeing a move for Celtic midfielder Matt O’Riley after the Eagles sent chief scout Dougie Freedman to watch him against RB Leipzig in midweek.

It comes after Newcastle United cast their eye over the Danish Under-21 international against Croatia last month.

Leicester City are also understood to be long-term admirers of O’Riley, who has claimed he’s in no rush to leave Parkhead after joining the club in January.

O’Riley is now thought to be on Palace’s radar after their hopes of bringing back Conor Gallagher from Chelsea suffered a blow.