Deadline day Q&A: Latest on Rangers and Celtic late deals, Harry Wilson, James Tavernier, Leigh Griffiths loan, Aberdeen and Dundee United movement
We’re answering your questions on the big transfer issues as we enter the final throes of the summer window ...
Q: Is Diego Laxalt likely to be Celtic’s only move in the market?
Andrew Smith: Club sources last night were keen to play down any talk that deadline day would result in them concluding more than one deal - with Laxalt the one because the glaring need to have more than Greg Taylor vying for the left-side wing-back role in a season that could run to excess of 60 games. The excitable chatter over a loan deal for Liverpool’s Harry Wilson is misplaced.
Q: Do we think Kyle Magennis will be the last bit of business at Hibs?
Mark Atkinson: Probably. They’ve already spent big in coronavirus terms by bringing in Magennis on a five-year deal and also snaring Kevin Nisbet. While Hibs fans perhaps want another striker, there has to be a bit of realism that the club has to keep its squad tight on numbers. Jack Ross has assembled a really strong squad now and I’d expect them to really challenge for third spot. They’ve kept hold of some key players and that is as good as a new signing.
Q: Why wasn’t the Bongani Zungu Rangers deal done weeks ago? He’s been linked with us for ages …
Stephen Halliday: Amiens’ asking price was regarded as too steep several weeks ago for a player who is out of contract next summer. But Zungu has remained a live option for Rangers throughout the window.
Q: Will Aberdeen invest in another central defender with the Scott McKenna money?
Mark Atkinson: I’d say that’s unlikely at this stage. While they recouped a substantial amount for McKenna, they had already spent good money in precarious times to bring back Jonny Hayes and then sign Ross McCrorie, who can play at centre-back anyway. Greg Leigh, who can play in defence and midfield, has joined on a short-term deal and they already have Ash Taylor, Andy Considine and Tommie Hoban in situ. Mikey Devlin is currently injured, but he can also do a job there. I think Aberdeen foresaw what was coming with McKenna and have prepared early for his departure.
Q: Are we expecting any late bids for Alfredo Morelos and Ryan Kent?
Stephen Halliday: Never say ‘never’ on deadline day. Steven Gerrard admits it could be taken out of his hands if bigger offers come in. But it looks as though both will still be Rangers players tomorrow.
Q: Any update on St Johnstone? We desperately need some goals in our team!
Matthew Elder: Callum Davidson intimated after the 2-0 defeat to Celtic yesterday that Israeli striker Guy Melamed was on the verge of signing. It is understood that the player is in Perth and the club is hopeful they can get the paperwork done in time. The 27-year-old is a free agent after departing Maccabi Netanya this summer due to wage cuts in the top flight in Israel. Davidson hopes he can be "a little bit different, someone who can bring a spark to the team". Most importantly though, he will hope he can bring some much-needed goals and be the missing link as the Saints look to turn their good play into points, and lift themselves off the bottom of the Premiership. His record would suggest so, Melamed having scored 50 goals in 125 starts during his time in Israel.
Q: Was there any chance of Leigh Griffiths going out on loan from Celtic?
Andrew Smith: Not a single chance. Neil Lennon’s initial plan was to run with five out-and-out strikers because of the desire to operate with a 3-5-2 configuration. With only Albian Ajeti recruited, he was never going to farm out Griffiths and so leave himself two forwards short of covering all bases. For all his off-field and injury issues in recent months, with his comeback header to see off St Johnstone on Sunday the 30-year-old maverick is a player who boasts nine goals from his last 14 senior outings - three of those from the bench. You don’t dispense with that sort of scoring talent, you do all you can to get such a player fit and firing.
Q: Have Dundee United won a watch with Jeando Fuchs? And is there any chance Lawrence Shankland will leave?
Mark Atkinson: We’ve seen this type of movie before with United – remember Wato Kuate? – but all known evidence suggests Fuchs could be a really good bit of business by Micky Mellon. His pedigree is excellent and he is a former team-mate of Kylian Mbappe when he tasted huge success at under-19 level. I think he’s definitely worth a punt. As for Shankland, he was loosely linked with Burnley at the weekend, but United will be pretty confident of keeping him. His injury earlier in the season might have done them a favour, actually, as had he been scoring for fun, he would’ve caught the eye more.
Q: How serious is any interest in Odsonne Edouard? We don’t want to lose him this late in the window.
Andrew Smith: It appears that Celtic never received an offer that would have placed them in an invidious position with the Frenchman - and see him actively agitate to be sold. The 22-year-old’s head is not in the right place right now as he perhaps wishes he was elsewhere. That is different from pushing to depart. Having witnessed his countryman and friend Moussa Dembele and Kieran Tierney both joining glitterati clubs, in Lyon and Arsenal respectively, the career path his advisers had mapped out for him was that he would follow their footsteps as the next Celtic prized asset to be launched to the elite level. There has been no interest to allow him such a farewell from the Scottish champions.
Q: Is Allan Campbell likely to leave Motherwell?
Mark Atkinson: No doubt he’s on the radar of quite a few clubs – Hibs and Aberdeen included. However, Motherwell really don’t want to lose him, so unless it’s an exceptional bid or player unrest, I reckon he’ll be at Fir Park tomorrow morning.
Q: What chance of a late swoop for James Tavernier? It would be a disaster if we lose him!
Stephen Halliday: Highly unlikely. While West Ham have been linked with the Rangers captain, he is happy at Ibrox and firmly focused on trying to lift major silverware with the club this season.