Celtic offer McCourt new contract

19 July 2010 11:07
Celtic have offered a contract extension to Paddy McCourt after the 26-year-old Northern Irish winger was targeted by Blackpool.McCourt, who was signed from Derry City in 2008, scored Celtic's second goal as they defeated Seattle Sounders 2-1 in a pre-season friendly on Sunday. [LNB]And manager Neil Lennon said: "We have offered Paddy a two-year extension and the ball is in his court. [LNB]"I'm aware there is interest, but we'd like to keep him." [LNB]Blackpool are looking to strengthen their squad after winning promotion to the Premier League in England. [LNB]And manager Ian Holloway is encouraged in looking to the Scottish market after Charlie Adam was instrumental in last season's campaign after the Scotland midfielder's switch from Rangers. [LNB]McCourt had a four-year spell in English football with Rochdale during which they rejected a £1.5m offer from Manchester City after he was linked with several top-flight clubs. [LNB]However, injuries and a loss of form led to his departure from Spotland Stadium and unsuccessful trials with Norwich City, Crewe Alexandra and Motherwell. [LNB]He moved to Shamrock Rovers for a spell cut short by their financial problems and he was sold to League of Ireland rivals Derry.[LNB]Bullard's year-long loan move to Celtic fell throughThree years later, he was sold again, this time to Celtic, for whom he has made only five starts and 15 more appearances from the substitutes' bench despite scoring some spectacular and critically-acclaimed goals. [LNB]McCourt, whose lack of stamina appears to have counted against him, played in an advanced role behind Celtic's strikers as they won for the first time on their North American tour after two defeats. [LNB]He side-footed home to put Celtic 2-0 ahead on the hour after being set up by Milan Misun as the Glasgow side defeated Major League Soccer opponents who had been reduced to 10 men after goalkeeper Terry Boss was sent off for a foul on Georgios Samaras. [LNB]The Greek striker, himself the subject of a bid from Spanish club Hercules, subsequently scored from the penalty spot. [LNB]Meanwhile, Lennon said he knew nothing of a reported cash sweetener being offered by Hull City to Jimmy Bullard that would resurrect the midfielder's season-long loan move to Celtic. [LNB]The Scottish Premier League club pulled out of the deal because of the wage demands of the 31-year-old, whose salary Hull feel they cannot sustain after their relegation to the Championship in England. [LNB]Hull's head of football operations, Adam Pearson, had told the BBC on Friday that he hoped Bullard would find a new club before the closure of the transfer window and the midfielder was left out of the Tigers squad for pre-season friendly wins over Ferriby and York City. [LNB]"We'll review it again in a couple of weeks' time and certainly, as we get closer to the end of the window, I am not going to make statements which close the door totally," said Pearson. [LNB]"What I would say is that it is pretty obvious, for both ourselves and for Jim, it would seem to be a positive thing for him to find another club."

Source: BBC_Sport