Football: Celtic chase Nadal

Scottish round-up
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The Independent Online
Celtic could be about to raise the stakes in the battle to preserve their record nine-in-a-row sequence of League wins. On the weekend when Rangers unveiled their latest signing, the Chilean striker Sebastian Rozental, it has emerged that Tommy Burns is trying to sign Miguel Angel Nadal, the Barcelona defender.

According to Bobby Robson, the Spaniard - outstanding at Euro 96 - has a clause in his contract allowing him to decide on a move if an offer of at least pounds 4m is received. It is questionable whether he would wish to play in Scottish football, although he saw for himself the impressive set-up at Celtic Park when he played there in a friendly earlier this season.

Burns is also working in other directions, with Enrico Annoni, the Roma defender, also on his shopping list. He could arrive in Glasgow this week for talks. Pierre van Hooijdonk also remains the subject of speculation linking him with a move to West Ham - whose manager Harry Redknapp watched the Dutchman score twice in a 4-1 win over Hibernian on Saturday.

Despite their win, Celtic remain nine points adrift of Rangers, for whom the performance of Paul Gascoigne overshadowed the debut of Rozental at Fir Park. Gascoigne made two and scored the final goal in a hard-fought 3-1 win over Motherwell. Rozental, who went on with 13 minutes remaining, later apologised to the Rangers supporters for not scoring.

Third-placed Dundee United continued their recent improvement under Tommy McLean with a 2-1 victory at Hearts. United have now won their last six games - their best spell in the League for 10 years. Aberdeen continued to struggle with a 2-2 draw against the bottom club, Raith Rovers.

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