Eight Celtic stars set for axe as Rangers transfer interest emerges

Latest football news and transfer rumours from around Scotland including the goings on at Hearts and Hibs’ Premiership rivals
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Another busy weekend in the Scottish Premiership is pending after Celtic and Rangers thrashed Hearts and Hibs respectively. The four teams will now swap opponents this round as Celtic travel to Easter Road and Hearts head through to Ibrox.

Speaking to Edinburgh News after the defeat, Nick Montgomery said: “Now we look ahead to another full Easter Road against Celtic on Saturday, a good opportunity to put in a performance in front of the home fans.”

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While the two Edinburgh based squads rebuild after a troubling weekend, here is the latest news from their Scottish Premiership rivals.

Eight stars facing Celtic axe

Up to eight players could leave Celtic during the January transfer window after manager Brendan Rodgers suggested the Scottish champions have too many senior players on their books (The Scotsman).

The Northern Irish manager said last week that the “squad is too big, that is the reality of it.” There are currently 32 names on the roster with five others currently out on loan. By comparison, Liverpool have the same number of loanees, leaving 27 in the regular squad. One such player who could face the cut, according to reports from The Scotsman, is ex-Reds man Nat Phillips.

The centre-back agreed a six-month loan deal on the final day of the summer window and it appeared he was a desperately-needed acquisition due to the injury crisis. But with the return of Cameron Carter-Vickers, Maik Nawrocki and the emergence of Liam Scales it’s hard to know where Phillips now fits in.

Ibrox eye rising Championship starlet

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Rangers are among a number of clubs, including Arsenal and Brighton & Hove Albion, keeping an eye on 17-year-old Sunderland striker Mason Cotcher (Sunderland Echo). Cotcher is an England youth international who enjoyed an excellent campaign last time out, regularly scoring in the under-18 side that pushed Manchester City all the way in an incredible title battle. The striker aided with 10 goal contributions in 19 appearances.

The youngster featured in Arsenal’s under-18s this week, indicating strong interest from the Premier League but it has also been understood the Ibrox side are also keeping tabs on the rising star.

‘Angry’ claim made by Celtic target

Andriy Lunin, who is being tracked by Celtic, is angry that Real Madrid are looking to turn Kepa’s loan from Chelsea into a permanent transfer and there are no signs that the Ukraine goalkeeper will want to renew his contract next summer (Spanish press and Daily Record).

Lunin started the season as number one at the Bernabeu with Thibaut Courtois sidelined through injury. However, Kepa was drafted in from Chelsea on loan and has taken the 24-year-old’s spot between the sticks. The Spanish press state that Real are looking to make the deal permanent - which has left Lunin “angry” with the club and there are now “no signs that he will renew.” It is claimed that the player’s agent is “encouraging him to seek” a move in January - which could clear the path to Parkhead.

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