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Celtic

After Scotland call-up should Celtic bring Dylan McGeouch back for third spell

The Hibernian midfielder has been in fine form this season.

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Alex McLeish’s first Scotland squad since returning to the national team role threw up a few surprises and first time call ups. Manchester United’s Scott McTominay was already known to be in the squad but he is joined by uncapped quintet Oli McBurnie, Barry Douglas, Jon McLaughlin, Scott McKenna and Dylan McGeouch. It is the latter that will be of particular interest to Celtic fans.

McGeouch has been in fine form under Neil Lennon at Hibernian this season. The 25-year-old has been running the show from midfield at Easter Road and catching the eye with his performances.

For Celtic, it is surely a regret to see him performing so well now. The midfielder spent eight years with Celtic, over two spells, as a youngster.

VIENNA, AUSTRIA – July 06: Thomas Schrammel of Rapid Wien (L) competes for the ball with Dylan McGeouch of Celtic Glasgow during the Pre Season Friendly between SK Rapid Wien and Celtic Glasgow at Gerhard-Hanappi-Stadium on July 6, 2014 in Vienna, Austria. (Photo by Christian Hofer/Getty Images)

After making his first-team debut in November 2011 McGeouch spent time on loan at Coventry City and Hibernian, eventually making the latter permanent. After initially struggling with injury at Hibs McGeouch has made himself a regular and one of the best performing midfielders in the Scottish Premiership.

So should Celtic consider bringing McGeouch back?

It would be the third time McGeouch signed for Celtic. He left the club as a youngster, joining local rivals Rangers, before returning in 2011.

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND – APRIL 22: Dylan McGeouch of Hibernian celebrates after scoring his team’s second goal during the William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final match between Hibernian and Aberdeen at Hampden Park on April 22, 2017 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

McGeouch is out of contract in the summer. As reported by the Scotsman in January, the midfielder is in no rush to sign anything regarding the new three-year extension. His patience could pay off. Celtic will no doubt regret letting McGeouch go now – seeing how well he has performed since the permanent switch to Edinburgh.

But he will be available on a free transfer and for Celtic it is essentially a no risk transfer if they manage to pry McGeouch away from Hibs.

If they did, it could be a case of third time lucky for the 26-year-old at Celtic Park.

Arsenal

Despite Celtic success, Arsenal should avoid Brendan Rodgers

Arsenal will be faced with looking for a new manager this summer.

Jake Jackman

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Photo: Getty Images

The end had been coming for a long time, but it was a surprise on Friday when Arsene Wenger announced he would be standing down as Arsenal manager.

The tributes quickly followed and a manager that had cut a sorry figure for the past few seasons was forgotten. Instead, his successes and impact on English football became the focus.

It is too soon to tell who the club’s priority target is to replace their legendary manager, but the early favourite with the bookies is Brendan Rodgers.

The Northern Irishman is arguably the best British coach in football at the moment and his experience at two big clubs, Liverpool and Celtic, puts him in contention for the Arsenal job.

The Celtic majority shareholder has already commented on the rumours and told Sky Sports that the club wouldn’t stand in Rodgers’ way if he wanted to move back to the Premier League with Arsenal:

“I’m glad he’s the favourite. He’s an outstanding person. We wouldn’t want him to leave but we won’t force him to stay. Hopefully, his love for the club and the setup here will enduce him to stay at the club.”

Although they provide a good starting point, the odds from various bookmakers aren’t reliable at this stage of the recruitment process. It would be expected that Arsenal have a number of managers in mind, but there is a long way to go before an appointment is made.

A number of the media have already talked up Rodgers as the best candidate for the role, due to his style of football and experience at two big British clubs. At Liverpool, he came close to winning the club’s first Premier League title during the 2013-14 season and got the team playing some excellent football.

(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

The 45-year-old has continued to impress with Celtic as he guided the club to an unbeaten domestic season during his first year in charge. There are question marks over the quality of the Scottish League, but Rodgers has stood out as the best manager the club have had in a number of years.

In addition to the domestic success, he has overseen some good performances in Europe, albeit their overall achievements on the continent have been modest.

By being the best British candidate, there will be a lot of people pushing for Rodgers to get the job, but it would be a poor appointment by Arsenal.

Despite his Liverpool teams playing some exciting football, he failed to win a single trophy during his time at Anfield. He came close to lifting the Premier League title, but in hindsight, the reason for that was the genius of Luis Suarez and goal-scoring form of Daniel Sturridge rather than the influence of Rodgers.

The best managers deliver results on a regular basis and can establish their team as regular contenders. The 2013-14 season will be remembered fondly by Liverpool fans, but their failure to build on it didn’t reflect well on Rodgers. They were quickly knocked out of both the Champions League and the Europa League before limping along to a 6th place finish.

During his time at Anfield, Rodgers did okay without ever looking like he belonged at one of England’s biggest clubs. His success at Celtic has seen him repair his reputation, but it is a huge change to go from being the dominant team in Scotland to rebuilding Arsenal.

The Gunners need to bring in a proven winner to instantly win over the players and have the authority to rebuild the club from top to bottom. Rodgers isn’t that man. He needs to show he can win major honours outside of Scotland before being considered for a top Premier League job again.

This summer is too soon for him and Arsenal would be foolish to consider him as an option.

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Celtic

Celtic linked with Keiren Westwood, who snubbed Brendan Rodgers in 2015

The Sheffield Wednesday stopper rejected a move to Liverpool back in January 2015.

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Reports today are suggesting that Sheffield Wednesday goalkeeper Keiren Westwood could be on his way out of Hillsborough. The Sun reports that the Owls could sell the keeper this summer after an injury-ravaged campaign. The 33-year-old has not played since December and will not play again this season because of a groin strain.

Three teams have been mentioned as interested in his services and one of them will not come as a surprise. Southampton and Leeds United are chasing him in England, whilst in Scotland, it is Celtic who are being linked with a move for the experienced goalkeeper.

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers has been here for before.

(Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Back in January 2015, the Celtic boss was in charge at Liverpool. He had become increasingly frustrated with the performances of Simon Mignolet so decided it was time for a change. That change was to bring in Westwood.

The then 30-year-old stopper had been in fine form for Wednesday that season. Liverpool, therefore, wanted to take him to Anfield to try and improve the goalkeeper position.

But he turned the move down. As reported by The Mirror the Irishman rejected the move as he was happy with Wednesday, stating:

“They gave me the chance to kick-start my career again, and I’m really happy to be here.”

(Photo by Tony Marshall/Getty Images)

Now Rodgers might finally have the chance to get his man.

The Republic of Ireland international would surely relish the chance to join Celtic. The Bhoys also need a new keeper, with Dorus De Vries clearly not up to the task of replacing Craig Gordon when the number one is injured. Scott Bain is currently between the sticks, but only on loan, so Westwood would be a shrewd acquisition.

Time will tell if Rodgers is left disappointed yet again.

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Celtic

Daniel Sturridge is the bold transfer target Celtic must target this summer

The Liverpool-owned striker has had a torrid time and a fresh start with Celtic could be perfect remedy.

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It has been another season to forget for Daniel Sturridge. The England striker found himself out of favour at Liverpool after a string of injury-ravaged campaigns. Jurgen Klopp instead used him as a bit-part player. Therefore, in hope of a late surge toward the England World Cup squad, Sturridge headed out on loan in January. He went to aid the relegation fight at West Brom. Unfortunately, lady luck is not kind to the Liverpool-owned player.

Sturridge played just three times for the Baggies before picking up a hamstring injury.

In the summer he needs a fresh start and Scottish giants Celtic are the perfect club to give him just that.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 01: Daniel Sturridge of Liverpool celebrates scoring the opening goal with Manager Brendan Rodgers during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Manchester United at Anfield on September 01, 2013 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Celtic have had it all their own way in recent years. This season it seems Brendan Rodgers will again guide his side to the Scottish Premiership title. However, next term looks like it is going to be a far greater challenge for the Bhoys.

Rangers look resurgent, Aberdeen are strong, Hearts have an exciting group of young players whilst Neil Lennon and Steve Clarke are doing great jobs at Hibernian and Kilmarnock.

Celtic need to stamp their authority as the number one team in Scotland in the transfer market this summer, especially with concerns over the future of Tom Rogic and Scott Sinclair.

One year ago the idea of signing Sturridge seemed fanciful for Celtic. Now it is a deal that really could happen.

Brendan Rodgers is a huge advocate for the forward. He knew him from his time at Chelsea and turned him into a goal-machine during their time at Liverpool.

during the Premier League match between Manchester City and West Bromwich Albion at Etihad Stadium on January 31, 2018 in Manchester, England.

Sturridge is a massive name and, when fit, one of the best strikers in Europe. Celtic are a massive club, despite what football fans south of the border might like to make out.

Sturridge would surely jump at the chance to play for a club in the Champions League with the prestige that the Bhoys carry. Such an opportunity would surely make him consider a wage-cut, whilst Celtic would also want some assurances in any deal of cover if injury troubles persisted in Glasgow.

In the past Celtic have lured the likes of Roy Keane, Craig Bellamy and Robbie Keane to Parkhead when not many thought they could. This summer Rodgers should be bold and send out a message by bringing Sturridge to Glasgow.

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