BBC’s Jim Spence reports this morning that Dundee United have rejected a £900k bid from Celtic for striker Nadir Ciftci (23), as Ronny Deila continues his quest to recreate the all-conquering (cough) Dundee United team of 2014.
While Ciftci is clearly talented, this is an unexpected move. He can hold the ball up and bring others into play but he never struck me as having Ronny Deila-type industry. Not that he would be the first convert to perpetual motion.
With John Guidetti away and Stefan Scepovic yet to stake a claim, we’ve space for a couple of strikers. It would be good to have at least one before the qualifiers.
Dukla Prague are one of those teams who my generation grew up hearing about. They were one of the finest teams in Europe, with one of the world’s top players, Josef Masopust, who sadly died yesterday. Masopust won the Ballon d’Or in 1962, after leading the great Czechoslovakia to the World Cup final that year, which they lost to Brazil.
He faced Celtic with Dukla in the semi-final of the European Cup in 1967, losing only once in the competition, at Celtic Park. Czech football retains the potential to create great teams, but, denied access to TV deals available in neighbouring parts of the EU, they have been robbed of the ability to achieve meritocratic progression.
The passing of Masopust is a chance to celebrate a great player and team, and to regret what appears forever lost because of television.
Enjoying Phil MacGiollaBhain’s work with the Belfast Telegraph, laid bare in his blog of yesterday. He includes scanned letters from the newspaper’s editor who regards it as “outrageous to suggest that I, or the Belfast Telegraph, would operate a blacklist of any form”, including one which includes Phil, despite how popular such a move would be in places.