Spanish giants launch Juranovic World Cup scouting mission, Rangers refute Ahmed Kendouci transfer links

The latest Celtic and Rangers transfer news and headlines on Thursday.
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

Celtic and Rangers have one eye on the return to Scottish Premiership action next week and another firmly fixed on the upcoming January transfer window.

Both sides are back on the pitch this weekend as they face friendly matches against European opposition, with the Hoops taking on Ligue 1 side Rennes in Faro and the Light Blues entertain Bundesliga outfit Bayer Leverkusen at Ibrox.

Here are the latest headlines involving the two Glasgow clubs today...

Spanish giants launch Juranovic scouting mission

Atletico Madrid will reportedly watch Celtic defender Josip Juranovic in action for Croatia against Brazil in the World Cup quarter-finals ahead of submitting a £10million-plus bid.

Josip Juranovic is set to play in a World Cup quarter-final against Brazil. (Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images)Josip Juranovic is set to play in a World Cup quarter-final against Brazil. (Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images)
Josip Juranovic is set to play in a World Cup quarter-final against Brazil. (Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images)

La Liga rivals Real Sociedad have also joined the growing list of top European clubs chasing the right-back’s signature, with the player expected to leave Parkhead in January.

The 27-year-old has started every game during his country’s run to the last eight of the competition in Qatar and his stock continues to rise after several impressive displays ahead of facing the tournament favourites on Friday.

Atletico are long-term admirers of Juranovic but Diego Simeone decided against following up on his interest as the club weighed up a summer move. Hoops boss Ange Postecoglou is willing to sell another of the club’s most valuable assets, despite Juranovic committing himself to the club until the summer of 2026 after arriving from Legia Warsaw for £2m just 18 months ago.

Should he perform well against the likes of Neymar, Vinicius Junior and Richarlison tomorrow, that could earn Juranovic a big-money transfer next month.

Ex-Celtic star loses starting spot to Rangers loan flop

Former Celtic star Patrick Roberts has been told he can’t have any complaints about being left out of the Sunderland team.

The pacy winger, who previousy spent over two years on loan at the Parkhead club from Manchester City, has lost his place in Tony Mowbray’s starting XI to ex-Rangers loanee Amad Diallo at the Stadium of Light.

READING, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 14:  Patrick Roberts of Sunderland celebrates scoring the opening goal during the Sky Bet Championship between Reading and Sunderland at Select Car Leasing Stadium on September 14, 2022 in Reading, England. (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)READING, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 14:  Patrick Roberts of Sunderland celebrates scoring the opening goal during the Sky Bet Championship between Reading and Sunderland at Select Car Leasing Stadium on September 14, 2022 in Reading, England. (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)
READING, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 14: Patrick Roberts of Sunderland celebrates scoring the opening goal during the Sky Bet Championship between Reading and Sunderland at Select Car Leasing Stadium on September 14, 2022 in Reading, England. (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)

The Ivorian arrived at Ibrox earlier this year with a big reputation after sealing a £25m transfer to Manchester United in January 2021 but he struggled to make an impact during his temporary six-month stint.

Addressing the situation, Wearside boss Mowbray said: “He’s (Diallo) only playing on a regular basis because of his talent. I have to sit Patrick down in my office, who, in my opinion, is probably the most talented footballer in this league. Yet I have to tell him he’s not playing.

“Why am I not playing if you think I’m that talented? ‘Well, because this kid assists and scores goals Pat, and with total respect, you scored two amazing goals away at Reading this season and you’ve had some assists, but Amad’s on fire at the moment and he plays in the same position as you’.

“My job is to try to ifnd a way of putting them both in the team, yet you have to pick and choose the games where you feel you can be dominant with the ball and put them both in the team at the same time.”

Striker set for January transfer scramble

Rangers striker Alfredo Morelos could be heading for a January exit with clubs across Europe ready to battle it out for his signature.

The club’s all-time European top goal scorer has struggled for game time this season due to the form of summer signing Antonio Colak and has failed to impress when given a chance.

The Colombian has just six months remaining on his current deal but it appears increasingly likely that his future lies away from Glasgow, with Aston Villa the current favourites at 2/1 with Coral to sign him.

La Liga outfit Sevilla have previously expressed an interest in Morelos are remain a 3/1 shot, with fellow Spanish top-flight side Villarreal available at 5/1.

Coral spokesman John Hill said: “Steven Gerrard is no longer at Aston Villa, but the Midlands club remain the favourites to sign Alfredo Morelos. They top the betting ahead of the La Liga duo.”

Gers refute Kendouci transfer links

Rangers will NOT be looking to make a January move for Ahmed Kendouci, despite initial reports in the African sports press claiming the club were looking at the Algerian international.

Ahly's midfielder Aliou Dieng (L) vies for the ball against Setif's forward Ahmed Kendouci (R) during the CAF Champions League Semi-Final between Algeria's ES Setif and Egypt's al-Ahly at the 5 July stadium in the Algiers suburb of Ben Aknoun Ahly's midfielder Aliou Dieng (L) vies for the ball against Setif's forward Ahmed Kendouci (R) during the CAF Champions League Semi-Final between Algeria's ES Setif and Egypt's al-Ahly at the 5 July stadium in the Algiers suburb of Ben Aknoun
Ahly's midfielder Aliou Dieng (L) vies for the ball against Setif's forward Ahmed Kendouci (R) during the CAF Champions League Semi-Final between Algeria's ES Setif and Egypt's al-Ahly at the 5 July stadium in the Algiers suburb of Ben Aknoun

Football Scotland claimed yesterday that the Ibrox side had made ‘preliminary contact’ with the midfielder, who plays for ES Setif in his homeland, stating that he could join on an initial loan deal with an option-to-buy permanent transfer fee inserted. The report stated Rangers were ‘confident’ a deal could be agreed.

However, those rumours are understood to be false and Kendouci won’t be arriving in Govan next month. Previously linked with rivals Celtic back in January, the promising 23-year-old is said to be attracting a host of potential suitors including an unnamed Croatian club.

New Gers boss Michael Beale has already been given assurances that the board will look to support him for the “right player at the right price” during the upcoming window. It seems Kendouci doesn’t fit that mold, with the well-respected Rangers Heart & Hand podcast quoted as saying there is “nothng in the rumour.