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    Ex-England goalie Joe Hart tipped to be a huge success at Celtic by John Barnes as transfer speculation intensifies

    JOHN BARNES believes Joe Hart joining Celtic would be a good move for both parties.
    The Hoops are currently on the lookout for a new goalkeeper with a Fraser Forster return looking unlikely.

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    Celtic could move for Joe HartCredit: Getty Images – Getty
    Neil Lennon has just Scott Bain on the books after Craig Gordon’s departure for Hearts last week.
    And Hart’s name has been touted to the Parkhead club after his Burnley release.
    Former Celtic boss Barnes believes Hart would thrive in Glasgow due to the fact he “wouldn’t come under much pressure”.
    Speaking to BonusCodeBets, he said: “I think Joe Hart going to Celtic would be a great move for him and for the club.

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    John Barnes believes the move would work well for both partiesCredit: PA:Press Association
    “Goalkeepers can continue playing for a lot longer than outfield players, which helps in this situation.
    “Joe Hart is an experienced player, who loves his football, is hungry to keep playing at a top level and is still relatively young.
    “Going up to Scotland, where he won’t come under much pressure whilst playing for Celtic, will be a good move for him and I am sure is somewhere that he could do well at.”
    Former Hoops ace David Marshall is another name being considered by Neil Lennon after his Wigan side plunged into administration.

    However, Stoke City look poised to beat the Hoops to the capture of the Scotland international.
    Potters gaffer Michael O’Neill has tabled an offer for the Scotland keeper after his club Wigan went bust last week.
    That could now force boss Lennon to act swiftly or risk losing out.
    Speaking earlier in the week, the Irishman insisted he would do everything he could to bring in another ‘exceptional’ shot-stopper.
    “We’re looking at a number of options in the goalkeeping front, it’s such an important position.
    “Fraser did wonderful things for us last season and he’s got big gloves to fill.
    “Ideally we’ll try to get another exceptional number one in again.”

    Celtic ready to offer Joe Hart lifeline after Burnley release if they fail in transfer for Fraser Forster More

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    Rangers legend Scott Nisbet in cancer battle after four tumours found and needs life-saving kidney surgery

    RANGERS legend Scott Nisbet has admitted he’s in a race against time after being told he has cancer.
    The former striker is set for life-saving surgery — just days after his devastating diagnosis.

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    Rangers hero Scott Nisbet has opened up on his cancer battleCredit: SNS Group
    After initially complaining of a sore back, an emergency CT scan revealed four tumours, the biggest of which means that surgeons will have to act fast to remove the 52-year-old’s kidney.
    And Nisbet — who now lives in Lanzarote — will see a specialist in Gran Canaria on Wednesday.

    The tumour on my kidney is about eight centimetres by six. The priority is to remove the kidney.
    Scott Nisbet

    He told SunSport: “I am in a race against time. I have four tumours.
    “The main one is on my kidney and it has to be taken out ASAP.

    “The tumour on my kidney is about eight centimetres by six.
    “If they can get that out within a week to ten days they will then look to tackle the remaining three tumours.
    “I am going to Gran Canaria on Wednesday to see the specialist and hopefully the operation will follow soon after.
    “The priority is to remove the kidney. So that’s why I say it’s a race against time.”

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    Scott with girlfriend June

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    Nisbet made 90 appearances for Rangers during an eight-year spellCredit: SNS Group
    Nisbet, who has three children, has been humbled by the messages of support from back home.
    A host of former Ibrox team-mates, including Ally McCoist and Andy Goram, have already reached out to him.
    Nisbet will always be remembered for his famous 1993 strike against Club Brugge in the Champions League.
    He was a hugely-popular figure during his time at Gers — with his career cruelly cut short by injury.
    He now runs a soccer school on the island and is banking on the love of girlfriend June and kids TJ, Indya and Chad to help him defeat his tough opponent yet.
    Nisbet said: “I was a fighter when I played and I am determined to fight this.
    “For my family’s sake I am having to put a brave face on it, I’ll fight this for them and for June.
    “This is the biggest fight I’ve ever faced and I’ll give it my best shot.”
    Nisbet suffered family tragedy five years ago when sister Debra died at the age of 54 after an operation to remove a cancerous tumour, also in her kidney, went wrong.
    At the time he said: “Debra was my best pal. She was the anchor of our family and to have her taken away like that is devastating.”
    Edinburgh-born Nizzy made 90 appearances for Rangers in his eight year stint between 1985 and 1993.
    His top-level career was ended by a pelvic injury and, after a brief bid to come back with junior side Arniston, he soon moved to Lanzarote.

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    Thomas Robert, son of ex-Newcastle and France star Laurent, snubs Premier League and Bundesliga transfer to join Airdire

    LAURENT ROBERT’S son has turned his back on a big money move to the Premier League – to sign for Airdrie.
    SunSport can reveal winger Thomas rejected a new four-year deal at Ligue 1 Montpellier to pen a 12-month contract with League One Diamonds.

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    Thomas Robert has signed for Airdrie

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    Dad Laurent in action for NewcastleCredit: PA:Press Association
    The in-demand 19-year-old is a free agent and had been linked with clubs in the Bundesliga and England, as well as Rangers and Celtic.
    But Robert – whose dad starred for Newcastle and PSG and was capped for France – wasn’t interested in playing Under-23s football.
    He wanted regular first team exposure and has agreed to join Ian Murray’s side for the new season.
    Sun Sport told you how Robert might have had the chance to emulate his dad’s legendary Newcastle career.

    The Magpies were among the winger’s Premier League admirers after he rejected a new contract so he could move for free in a bid for more starts.
    Bundesliga and Scottish Premiership clubs, plus French sides Nice and Rennes, are also keen on the 19-year-old.
    Robert Sr won nine France caps, also as a wideman, spending five years apiece with his first club Montpellier and then Newcastle.
    The ex-PSG star, now 45, hit 32 goals in 181 games for the Toon before joining Benfica in 2006.

    His son’s agent, Mark McKay, said: “We have several offers from clubs in France, Germany and the UK but Thomas wants to be playing regular first-team football wherever he ends up going.
    “He refused Montpellier’s offer of a new deal as he wants to be playing first-team football and he sees that as key to his long-term development at this stage of his career.” More

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    Football fans could be back in grounds in two weeks as Celtic hope to see supporters at Parkhead for friendly on July 25

    FOOTBALL fans could be back inside stadiums within a fortnight as Celtic hope to stage a friendly game at Parkhead on Saturday, July 25 — in front of 1,000 fans.
    But Hoops chiefs fear they will be forced to delay their plans as the Government stalls on whether to allow supporters back into grounds.

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    Celtic are hoping to test fans inside stadiums during a friendlyCredit: Kenny Ramsay – The Sun Glasgow
    SunSport can reveal the Scottish champions are in talks with a number of clubs about organising a bounce game in just over a fortnight.
    They believe they could cope with 30,000 punters inside Celtic Park.
    But with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon refusing to budge on reducing significant restrictions, Scotland’s champions realise that’s unlikely to be given the go-ahead.
    They are instead looking at hosting a friendly game with 1,000 supporters as a test event — but fear even those plans may be kicked into touch until some time next month.

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    Neil Lennon’s men will travel to France for pre-season tiesCredit: SNS Group
    Neil Lennon’s squad are currently in Loughborough at a training camp.
    They will travel to France at the weekend ahead of friendly games with Lyon, Nice and PSG on July 16, 18 and 21.
    Lyon are set to invite key workers to their stadium to make up a limited crowd for that game with the Hoops.
    The Old Firm are both due to face Lyon at their Groupama Stadium in a pre-season tournament.

    Lyon are yet to officially confirm the dates, but reports suggest they will play Celtic on the 16th and then Steven Gerrard’s side two days later.
    Hoops supporters are buying into ten-in-a-row after the club sold more than 50,000 season tickets.
    Supporters had until July 7 to renew their books ahead of a huge season for Lennon’s side.
    And SunSport understands more than 50,000 punters have pledged their backing for the new campaign.
    The incredible show of support comes despite a number of games set to be staged behind closed doors amid the coronavirus crisis.
    Celtic will unfurl the league flag at home to Hamilton on Sunday August 2 as they kick off their quest for ten.
    Lennon’s side will also target Champions League qualification before they host Rangers in the first derby at Parkhead. More

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    Non-League Harrogate Town snub chance to play Celtic friendly as they focus on National League play-off push instead

    NON-LEAGUE Harrogate Town have rejected the chance to play Celtic in a friendly.
    Neil Lennon’s side are down south training at Loughborough University as they gear up for their ten-in-a-row title push which will begin with a home clash against Hamilton on August 2.

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    Harrogate Town boss Simon Weaver has revealed he has snubbed the chance to play Celtic in a friendlyCredit: Times Newspapers Ltd

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    Neil Lennon’s side will head to France next week for a trio of friendliesCredit: PA:Press Association
    The Hoops had hoped to arrange a behind-closed doors fixture with Harrogate to build up the squad’s match sharpness.
    But the League Two hopefuls don’t want to risk injury as they prepare for their crucial National League play-off against either Boreham Wood or FC Halifax Town later this month.
    Boss Simon Weaver explained: “I received a great phone call from Danny Wilson just the other day, asking if we wanted to play Celtic at Loughborough, all expenses paid.
    “Under any other circumstances we’d love to have played them. What an opportunity, and what a blow to have to say no.

    “But it’s too big a risk for us with the size of our squad and because we only have four defenders available for the play-offs.
    “We’re walking on eggshells a little bit in that respect. We’ve got to be very careful at the moment.
    “I’m sure Celtic will find another of the play-off sides with a bigger squad who will be able to give them a game, but hopefully that link is forged now.”
    Meanwhile Lennon admits his Celtic players are itching to end their four-month football exile ahead of next week’s trip to France.

    They are due to face Lyon, Nice and PSG in friendlies and Lennon can’t wait to let his players loose.
    He said: “We are trying to ramp up the training now as we are coming into games pretty soon.
    “We haven’t played a competitive game for over four months so it’s important we get some match rhythm.
    “We have to be really focused. The pre-season has been good so far and now they are itching to get a game.
    “Hopefully after three or four games they will find their legs. It’s been a long break but it’s exciting to be back.
    “We want a competitive edge in training to take into the games next week.

    “The other side is getting the players used to playing behind closed doors.
    “We have to adapt to that environment as it will be totally different to what we’ve been used to.
    “The more we can do that, the better they will adapt to it. It has to be part of our preparations.
    “We have to be in the right mindset and the right physical condition to get used to the situations thrown at us going forward.
    “Every game is going to be critical from our point of view, because of what we could achieve as a group and club.”

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    Ex-Premier League ace Alan Thompson back talking to Neil Lennon after angry Celtic exit over alleged off-field lifestyle

    ALAN THOMPSON says he’s back on speaking terms with Neil Lennon following his biter Celtic exit.
    Thommo, 46, was sacked as first-team coach during Lennon’s first spell as Hoops manager eight years ago.

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    Alan Thompson had a seemingly unbreakable bond with Neil LennonCredit: PA:Press Association
    The Geordie’s axing over his alleged off-field lifestyle damaged his seemingly unbreakable bond with long-term pal Lennon.
    It also brought a sour end to his love affair with the club, where he won eight trophies as a player from 2000-07.
    The former Bolton, Aston Villa and Leeds winger, who was capped by England, told BBC Sportsound: “It was a difficult time in my life.
    “I’ve got no problem with Lenny now. Lenny and I speak.

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    Thompson won the Scottish Cup and SPL title during his time as coachCredit: Kenny Ramsay – The Sun Glasgow
    “He’s rang me once or twice about a few players. I’ve rang him for a few contact numbers and stuff.
    “He got me tickets for the Cup final last year, so there’s no problem now.
    “Was there a period when we didn’t speak? Yes, absolutely.
    “He’s got his reasons, I’ve got mine. But absolutely no problem whatsoever now.

    “I wasn’t happy at all at what had happened or whether that was my fault or other people.
    “It was just an awful time.

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    Thompson and Johan Mjallby former Lennon’s backroom staff, along with Garry Parker and Stevie WoodsCredit: Kenny Ramsay – The Sun Glasgow
    “The club will say they made the right decision but my opinion might be different.
    “It might not have been Neil’s decision [to sack him], I don’t know.
    “It was very tough. I was having a tough time personally and then it was tough after that because I was out of work and going through a divorce which was a tough time.
    “I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. I’ve come through it now and looking forward to the future.”
    Former Hoops idol Thompson – who lifted the Scottish Cup and SPL title during his time as coach – believes Lennon has matured since returning to Parkhead.
    He said: “I think in his first period he made a lot of mistakes in terms of his anger on the touchline, his mannerisms and stuff like that.

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    Thompson and Lennon spent seven years together as Celtic playersCredit: PA:Press Association
    “I think he’s gone to Bolton and Hibs and watched Brendan come in and how he held himself in the touchline.
    “He’s probably sat back himself and thought, ‘that’s an impressive way to come across to the fans and the players’ and it rubs off on the players.
    “I think Lenny has mellowed, without a doubt. I think he’s a lot more calm on the touchline. I don’t know what he’s like in the dressing room now, maybe he’s more calm there.
    “I think it’s for the better. I think he’s a better manager for the experience that he’s had.”
    Thompson has been out of work since leaving Bury his assistant manager role at Bury in 2017.
    But the former England international believes he’s got unfinished business at Celtic and says he’d happily work in Scotland again.
    He said: “Yeah, you could say that but then who knows what lies ahead, we’ll have to wait and see.
    “It’d be nice to get back in the game in some capacity, coaching and possibly managing in the future.
    “You’d love to go back to any club that’s got the stature of Celtic and the support.
    “I’ve seen a lot of Celtic fans in the last few years at functions and stuff like that.
    “They are great to be around and it’s nice to get a pat on the back now and again because sometimes you forget about that in the dark days.

    “If the right job came up in the right part of Scotland and it was appealing to me, yeah I’d go back, without a doubt.
    “It’s a great place, great people. They are very passionate supporters, it’s now just Celtic and Rangers I’m talking about.
    “I’m talking about other clubs, even the smaller clubs have got passionate supporters, even if they don’t have the numbers Celtic and Rangers have got.
    “It would be somewhere I would definitely contemplate coming back to yes.”

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    Celtic and Southampton agree deal for Fraser Forster – but Neil Lennon says ball is in goalkeeper’s court as talks stall

    NEIL LENNON says the ball is in Fraser Forster’s court over a return to Celtic. The Hoops boss confirmed that a deal was agreed with Southampton to bring the goalkeeper back to Parkhead. Celtic are trying to bring Fraser Forster back – but things have ‘gone quiet’ over personal termsCredit: Reuters He told Sky Sports: […] More