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Lawwell on the chase
Published : 26 Jul 2010 09:00:49
There is still work to be done to get Lennon's target Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell will be working hard to deleiver on the three transfer targets identified by Neil Lennon as he prepares for the Champions League opener against Sporting Braga. Lawwell is close to finalising deals for Scunthorpe striker Gary Hooper and Israel midfielder Biram Kayal, while veteran England goalkeeper David James is expected in Glasgow for signing talks after leaving Portsmouth. Kayal, 22, is due to arrive from Maccabi Haifa and Lawwell will seek to tie up their lengthy pursuit of Hooper, also 22, who has scored 50 goals in two seasons for Scunthorpe. Hooper will join Daryl Murphy as a newcomer in the Celtic strikeforce and the former Sunderland forward put himself in the frame for a place against Braga on Wednesday with a goal in Saturday's 4-1 friendly win at Lincoln. Lennon also expects Cha Du-Ri and Efrain Juarez to be available for the third qualifying round tie along with fellow newcomers Joe Ledley and Charlie Mulgrew. Murphy will join Georgios Samaras, Marc-Antoine Fortune, Morten Rasmussen and Paul McGowan in competition for a striking place in Portugal.Hooper's arrival will further boost Lennon's forward line but the Celtic manager would have been encouraged to hear Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp admit he may have to offload Robbie Keane, who scored 16 goals in 19 games on loan at Celtic Park last season. Redknapp said: "Robbie is a fantastic professional, who trains hard and wants to play. I still think he has a lot to offer. The thing is he wants to play all the time. There is every chance he could start the season, but if it doesn't work out then I am sure he will be the first one to come and tell me that he needs to play somewhere."