Celtic make late move for Jonjoe Kenny while Rangers bring duo’s moves forward

Celtic left it late to finally make their only signing of the January window as they announced the loan capture of Everton’s Jonjoe Kenny.

The Toffees right-back – who has made 48 first-team appearances for the Goodison outfit – comes in as a short-term replacement for Jeremie Frimpong, who left for Bayer Leverkusen last week.

The deal was announced just just two-and-a-half hours before the deadline but it is better late than never for the Parkhead support, who have been crying out for fresh recruits to help out Neil Lennon’s struggling outfit.

Lennon – speaking earlier on Monday – said: “He’s a player I have liked for a while. He is at Everton obviously and had a very good career at England Under-21 level and I watched quite a bit of him last season when he was on loan at Schalke.

“I like his qualities, his enthusiasm for the game, his character, and I think he will bring that to the team. He is a bubbly sort of personality and he plays that way as well.”

Celtic had hoped to complete a pre-contract deal for centre-back Ben Davies but were beaten to his signature by English champions Liverpool, who have now signed the 25-year-old from Preston.

“It’s a blow because we were very close to doing that and obviously we got gazumped at the last minute by Liverpool,” Lennon said.

“(We’re) disappointed but we move on. It’s not the first time it’s happened to us or myself as a manager.”

Ben Davies
Ben Davies

Lennon is understood to have rejected loan offers for defender Stephen Welsh and confirmed Celtic were looking at other centre-back options, while French midfielder Olivier Ntcham is in talks with Marseille over a loan move.

“I think he is looking for a fresh start, or to progress his career elsewhere, and he has made that clear over a long period of time,” Lennon said.

Scott Wright and Jack Simpson are both set to complete immediate moves to Rangers.

Both players agreed pre-contracts last week but Wright will sign a four-and-a-half-year deal before the deadline after Rangers agreed to give Aberdeen a £150,000 discount on Ross McCrorie, the PA news agency understands.

Gers agreed to slash the £350,000 fee they had agreed with Pittodrie bosses to make loan player McCrorie’s Dons move permanent in the summer and the Scotland Under-21 captain will now become an Aberdeen player outright.

Rangers have decided to push ahead with the Wright deal after agreeing to allow Brandon Barker join Oxford on loan.

Simpson has arrived in Glasgow with George Edmundson on his way to Derby on loan.

Aberdeen acted swiftly after the departure of Sam Cosgrove to Birmingham on Sunday to bring in two replacements. Scotland Under-21 and Reims striker Fraser Hornby has been joined by St Johnstone’s Callum Hendry in agreeing six-month loan switches to Pittodrie.

Florian Kamberi is set for Pittodrie
Florian Kamberi is set for Pittodrie

It is understood they have also agreed a loan deal with St Gallen for former Hibernian and Rangers striker Florian Kamberi.

Youngster Bruce Anderson has been allowed to move to Hamilton on loan for the remainder of the campaign, while Accies have released striker Tunde Owolabi and midfielder Justin Johnson.

Both Kevin Nisbet and Ryan Porteous are staying with Hibs following interest from Birmingham and Millwall respectively, with the striker reportedly handing in a transfer request before Blues gave up on their pursuit.

Hibs have allowed two players to leave on loan – Stevie Mallan to Turkish Super Lig side Malatyaspor and Jamie Gullan to Raith Rovers.

Managerless Kilmarnock made a late double loan swoop, securing Arsenal defender Zech Medley and Crystal Palace forward Brandon Pierrick on six-month deals.

The 🦅 has landed

Welcome to Killie, Brandon Pierrick

— Kilmarnock FC (@KilmarnockFC) February 1, 2021

Livingston are close to signing a player on loan, while midfielder Robbie Crawford made a loan move to Motherwell a permanent switch until the end of the season. Fir Park chief executive Alan Burrows earlier stated that they were hoping to “add one or two before midnight”.

St Johnstone have signed 21-year-old former Arsenal midfielder Charlie Gilmour until the end of the season.

Dundee United defender Lewis Neilson has been linked with Leicester, while St Mirren manager Jim Goodwin is looking for one more signing.

Ross County boss John Hughes did not expect any more deals following Ross Stewart’s departure to Sunderland on Sunday.