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Lennon looks to add striker to help goalshy forwards

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30 Jan 2014 01:46:54

Lennon looks to add striker to help goalshy forwards

Celtic manager Neil Lennon says he still expects to do some business before the January transfer window closes on Friday.

The Hoops have so far only added Norwegian midfielder Stefan Johansen to their squad as they move remorselessly towards their third league title in a row.

Midfielder Kris Commons is top scorer for the Glasgow giants this season and Lennon is desperate to add a striker to help out his goal-shy strikers.

Established frontmen Anthony Stokes and Georgios Samaras are struggling for goals while Finnish forward Teemu Pukki and Amido Balde have failed to make an impact since arriving in the summer.

The Parkhead club had a bid for Wolves' Scottish striker Leigh Griffiths rejected earlier this week and Lennon said they were considering their options.

"I will see what tomorrow or Friday brings but we are looking at other options as well," he said.

"The fee was rejected by Wolves so whether we go back again is something we will have to consider over the next couple of days.

"We always have other options for similar positions anyway. I'm not saying the move for Leigh is dead by any means but we do have other people in mind, not just for that particular position but others as well.

"I will be glad at one minute past 11 on Friday night when I can go home and put my feet up. Then you've got your squad to work with between now and May.

"There is a lot of speculation regarding our players currently here and players coming in. The phone is non-stop at the moment so it will be fraught for the next 48 hours."

Lennon was speaking after his side extended their lead at the top of the Scottish Premiership with a comprehensive 4-0 win over Kilmarnock at Parkhead on Wednesday.

The Hoops moved 18 points clear of Aberdeen, with a game in hand, as they notched up their 12th victory in a row to remain unbeaten after 23 matches.

The result means English goalkeeper Fraser Forster equalled Charlie Shaw's record of 10 league games without conceding a goal - a record first set 100 years ago before being equalled in 1921/22.

And Lennon said the 'keeper deserved to take a lot of credit for his side's current run.

"He made a terrific save at 2-0 and he's done that now in the last two or three games. He's another player who's in superb form and he deserves all the accolades that will come his way," the Celtic manager said.

"I think it's a fantastic achievement and we are hoping to keep that run going if we can."

At Celtic Park, Joe Ledley's drilled shot opened the scoring in the 11th minute before Lee Ashcroft turned James Forrest's cross past his own goalkeeper.

Charlie Mulgrew added a third in the 68th minute and substitute Amido Balde made it 4-0 in stoppage time.

Welsh midfielder Ledley is out of contract in the summer and has been linked with a move away from Parkhead.

But Lennon said there had been no enquiries for any of his players and hoped to hold on to all of his squad.

"We've had no phone calls at all regarding any of our players. We don't want to sell anybody but if there is any interest the phone will have to start ringing," the Celtic boss said.

"Joe was superb tonight. Not just his goal, which he took very well, but his all-round game including his passing and covering of the ground.

"Him and Scott Brown together are a fantastic partnership at times and they showed that tonight.

"I thought as midfield performances go that was as good as it's been this season, attacking and defending, and they dovetailed each other very well."


AFP

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