Celtic set sights on long-linked Scotland frontman

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Celtic to win 2016/17 Ladbrokes Premiership

Finding additional firepower for his newly-inherited Celtic squad looks to be one of Brendan Rodgers’ first tasks in his return to management.

The former Liverpool boss is yet to make a signing at the Glasgow giants, but will welcome teenaged Norwegian Kristoffer Ajer on board after Celtic agreed a deal to sign him from Start in February.

But Rodgers has been linked with a move for a Scotland international who has recently been released south of the border.

Sunderland confirmed last week that striker Steven Fletcher will not have his contract renewed and, as a result, the 29-year-old will be a free agent this summer.

Although the player himself was coy on the subject of his future while on international duty with Scotland recently, Celtic appear to be among a number of suitors for the 28-cap forward’s signature, according to reports.

The Daily Record suggest both Hull and Aston Villa are interested in landing Fletcher, but wager that the chance of challenging for regular trophies and playing in the Champions League with Celtic could swing the decision the Scots’ way.

Should Fletcher arrive, he could well prove the ideal foil for Leigh Griffiths, who dominated the scoring charts in the Ladbrokes Premiership this term with 31 goals.

Beyond the former Hibernian striker however, no other Celtic player managed to reach double figures in the campaign. Clearly, Rodgers is keen to address that, with Celtic 1/4 to be champions for a sixth successive season.

Like Griffiths, Fletcher is also a one-time Hibee and scored 43 goals in 156 league games for the Edinburgh outfit. Now a more experienced and developed player some seven years on, he would almost certainly prove a bigger threat should he return to the league.

Fletcher spent the latter half of last season on loan with Marseille, scoring three times and providing another four assists in 18 all-competition appearances.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.