Football transfer rumours: Tavernier and McGregor to join Brighton?

Barry Glendenning on 8 October 2018

Like the vikings and several English kings before him, Chris Hughton is planning a smash-and-grab raid on Scotland. The Brighton manager is a longtime admirer of Celtic’s Callum McGregor and is hopeful of bringing the midfielder to the Amex Stadium in January for £10m. The 25-year-old has made 21 appearances this season and his club will be reluctant to let him go. However, if Celtic fail to progress from the Europa League group stages, they might well be persuaded to cash in on their asset, who is reported to be keen to try his luck in the Premier League.

James Tavernier is also wanted by Brighton, who were linked with the Rangers full-back during the summer and have since ramped up their interest. Hughton sent scouts to watch Tavernier play in his side’s midweek Europa League win over Rapid Vienna, a performance that earned him a place in Uefa’s Europa League team of the week. Asked about Brighton’s interest, Rangers manager Steven Gerrard hinted he’d be open to offers, but only those of an extremely generous kind. “I know the CEO at Brighton very well,” he said. “I used to work alongside him at the FA. He’s got my number and he knows where I am, but he best go to the owners and ask for an awful lot of money if he wants James Tavernier.”

Back at Celtic, Brendan Rodgers has insisted he’s “the manager and I love it and have lots of challenges here” while simultaneously refusing to rule himself out of the running for the vacant manager’s job at Aston Villa. “You can’t rule me out because I have never been asked,” was his coy response upon being asked if he’d be interested in the job after Celtic’s emphatic 6-0 win over St Johnstone. As reported in the Guardian, Thierry Henry remains the favourite to succeed Steve Bruce, with John Terry being tipped as his assistant. José Mourinho’s former assistant Rui Faria, ex-Villarreal coach Fran Escriba, Shakhtar Donetsk boss Paulo Fonseca and Benfica B coach Bruno Lage have also been linked with the job.

Elsewhere in the midlands, West Brom are plotting a club record £20m move for Blackburn Rovers playmaker Bradley Dack in the January window. Second in the Championship behind Sheffield United following their win over Reading on Saturday, West Brom are the highest scorers in the division and have been playing some mouthwatering football under Darren Moore. The Baggies offered £15m for Dack in the summer and are ready to make a new and improved bid for the 24-year-old Londoner, who has eight goals already this season.

“Bradley’s a No 10, but he’s someone who gets in the box,” said his manager Tony Mowbray, following Blackburn’s win over Bolton on Saturday. “Not many players who play in the No 10 position do that. He’s a fantastic lad, a brilliant individual and he comes in every day with a great big smile on his face. He’s a joy to manage, we’re delighted to have him and let’s hope he keeps scoring those goals.”

And finally, Manolo Gabbiadini is reported to be tiring of life on the fringes of the Southampton first team and may agitate for a move in January. Incapable of nailing down a regular spot in a team that has scored just six goals in eight Premier League games this season, it’s small wonder the Italian is disaffected and yearning for a return to Italy. Lazio and Bologna expressed interest in the striker during the summer but decided to remain at St Mary’s and is now believed to be regretting his decision.

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