Football: Mols is set for major impact

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The Independent Online
THE UTRECHT coach, Mark Wotte, believes Michael Mols can make as much impact at Ibrox as Henrik Larsson has at Celtic. Mols will join Rangers next season from the Dutch club for pounds 4m.

Wotte is disappointed that his Dutch international striker is leaving because of the influence he has had at the club. Wotte is warning Scottish defences that Mols can emulate the prolific Swede, Larsson, whose 35 goals have been the highlight of Celtic's season.

"I know Scottish football and that Michael will score between 20 to 30 goals a season," Wotte said. "He is as good as Larsson and has the exact same qualities as a player, even though their styles are very different.

"Larsson likes to run at defences from left or right and Michael is a much more central player.

"He plays with his back to goal and that is a very, very important because he can link with players moving forward from midfield.

"He can be just as influential for Rangers as Larsson is at Celtic. One thing is for sure, we will be unable to buy another striker of his quality."

The Sheffield Wednesday manager, Danny Wilson, was told yesterday that he must pay a fee for St Johnstone's Philip Scott if he wants to sign the midfielder before tomorrow's transfer deadline.

Saints say Wednesday have made a "derisory" offer for Scott, although the Scottish Premier League side happy to let the 24-year-old leave McDiarmid Park on a free transfer in the summer under the Bosman ruling.

Wilson has already agreed terms with the Scotland Under-21 international who has signed a pre-contract agreement, along with the Celtic pair, Phil O'Donnell and Simon Donnelly, who did so last week.

As is the case with the Bhoys duo, the Owls are not willing to part with enough money to prise any of the three players away from their respective clubs. The St Johnstone managing director, Stewart Duff, said: "They have made an offer which we have turned down. In fact what they have offered would not be half of the player's wages for a season.

"What we are asking is not unreasonable and we are quite prepared to keep the player until the end of the season if necessary.

"Sheffield Wednesday are losing out on having a good player for a couple of months, while Philip is losing out on a couple of months' experience in the Premiership.

"The pressure is all on Sheffield Wednesday to sign him, not on us to sell him. If they want him they will have to come and get him."

Both Wilson and the player's agent are still confident a deal can be struck, with Wednesday looking for a lift to their squad after a run of four successive defeats.

Wilson said: "We've agreed personal terms and, like with the Celtic pair, he will either come before the transfer deadline or in the summer.

"I'm very hopeful, though, that this will go through before Thursday. Philip is a quality player with a good goalscoring record from midfield and an ideal replacement for Jim Magilton." Magilton joined Ipswich on Monday for pounds 700,000.