20 December 2019 20:55

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  • King joined Rangers on a season-long loan deal from Premier League club Leicester in the summer transfer window.

King joined Rangers on a season-long loan deal from Premier League club Leicester in the summer transfer window.

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Neil Lennon confirms Celtic interest in Andraz Sporar - but denies bid

Andy King joined Steven Gerrard's Glasgow Rangers on loan from Leicester City in the summer transfer window. Rangers manager Steven Gerrard has suggested to The Glasgow Evening Times that Andy King could go back to Leicester City next month. King joined Rangers on a season-long loan deal from Premier League club Leicester in the summer transfer window. Much was expected of the 31-year-old midfielder when he arrived at Ibrox, but the Wales international has failed to make a huge impact at the Gers so far. According to WhoScored, King has made two substitute appearances in the Scottish Premiership, two substitute appearances in the Scottish League Cup, and just a minute in the Europa League for Rangers so far this season.

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Rangers boss Gerrard has said that the Gers are in talks with Leicester regarding the future of King. Gerrard told The Glasgow Evening Times about King: "We'll make a decision in the coming days with Leicester and his reps and we'll respect Andy and do what's best for him. King is a very good midfielder, but the Welshman has had injury issues and has failed to do well for Rangers. It would make sense for the 31-year-old to go back to Leicester, and perhaps then try to find another club to spend the second half of the season on loan at. Neil Lennon has denied Celtic made a bid for Andraz Sporar but admitted his interest in the Slovan Bratislava striker.

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The Slovakian club claimed Celtic had shown "huge interest" in the 25-year-old and had made an offer but faced competition from "other big clubs from France, Spain, Italy, Portugal and Belgium". The Slovenia international has scored 20 goals this season, including five in the Europa League group stages, second only to Rangers striker Alfredo Morelos, and his club want at least €7m for him. Lennon said: "We haven't made a bid. Lennon is looking to bolster his attacking options Lennon is looking for a striker to provide cover for Odsonne Edouard, with Leigh Griffiths and Bayo both struggling for fitness throughout this year. But his team consolidated their position at the top of the Ladbrokes Premiership with a midweek victory against Hearts and are looking for a 10th straight league win when Aberdeen visit Celtic Park on Saturday.

"Since we have played them last time they have been pretty consistent, the Hibs game was a shock result considering the form they have shown," he said. Meanwhile, Lennon was bemused by comments from Hearts midfielder Loic Damour on his captain after the Frenchman claimed Scott Brown had been the referee when Celtic played Hearts. Damour also told the Edinburgh Evening News: "Apparently he is like the king of the league because he can do whatever he wants on the pitch and the referee never says anything. Neil Lennon has confirmed Celtic are interested in signing Slovan Bratislava striker Andraz Sporar, but says the club are yet to make a bid. Ivan Kmotrik, director of the Slovakian side, said they had received an offer for the player in a statement on the club's website, but claimed they would not sell for less than £6m. Slovenian striker Sporar has scored 20 goals in 26 games for the club, including six goals in the Europa League. The Celtic boss admitted Sporar was one of a number of players the club were monitoring, as they look to bolster their attack in January. "It is true that Celtic FC sent us an offer and showed a huge interest in Andraz Sporar." Kmotrik had said in the statement. "There is already a huge interest and we expect that even more clubs will address offers during January." Hearts defender Michael Smith insists the fact the team were clapped off following Wednesday's loss to Celtic proves they have turned a corner. Hearts continued to put up a fight after the interval and Northern Ireland international Smith insists having the fans' backing throughout the 90 minutes was huge. Smith, who is hoping Hearts can clinch only their third Premiership victory of the season in tomorrow's bottom of the table clash at Hamilton, said: "The fact our home fans clapped us off the pitch even after a defeat showed we worked hard and things are starting to turn. "The manager has come in and bringing energy and enthusiasm and we're starting to show it on the pitch. "I thought the fans were great, they've not had a lot to cheer about but they stuck right with us as we showed we're battling hard on the pitch and going for every ball. Alan Hutton showered Celtic midfielder Tom Rogic with praise but admitted he had a difficult task nailing down a first-team spot. Speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Laura O'Leary, the former Scotland international revealed that he thought the 27-year-old was an asset to the Hoops as he's a technically gifted player. Rogic has been sparingly-used this season with him playing just 10 times across all competitions for Neil Lennon's side. Hutton acknowledged that the Australian international was starting to get back up to speed following his knee injury, and suggested he may have to think about his options if he wants to play all the time. When asked if Rogic is fighting a losing battle when it comes to getting back into Celtic's first-team on a regular basis, Hutton told Football Insider: "Very talented boy, scores goals, gets assists, gives a lot, he's been hampered by injury but he is coming back. "It's like Rangers, Celtic are very strong in those areas so it's always going to be difficult breaking into the team, but it's a good thing for the team. "He has played recently, so it's not like he's not playing, he's come in and done well, Lennon does chop and change so he'll get game time. "It comes down to whether he wants to be part of a rotation, be in and out, or does he want to play all the time? Neil Lennon has slowly eased Rogic back into his first-team plans as his knee injury did see him miss a significant amount of action as he was stuck on the sidelines for over 150 days. The 27-year-old has been at Celtic since joining from A-League side Central Coast Mariners in 2013 and is contracted to stay with the club until 2023.