Thursday 23 February 2017

Reid in talks with Celtic as Lennon targets permanent manager's role

Celtic are still searching for a permanent manager but they are keen not to lose ground in the transfer market after reportedly holding talks with Republic of Ireland midfielder Steven Reid.

Reid is coming to the end of his Blackburn contract and is available on a free transfer after being loaned to QPR and West Brom last season.

Neil Lennon remains in charge of Celtic team affairs and oversaw last night's 2-0 victory over St Pauli in a friendly in Germany, where Paddy McCourt and Morten Rasmussen found the net for the Hoops.

And Lennon's apparent recommendation of Reid to the Celtic board indicates he remains involved in planning for next season. Celtic face competition from West Brom though after the 29-year-old helped the Baggies seal promotion following his arrival on loan in March.

The former Millwall player said last week: "There has been no contract offer at the moment from West Brom, but we have had initial talks. I will try to get away next week to have a holiday and then see what we can sort out."

Competition

Reid's arrival would add competition to the right midfield spot that Niall McGinn hopes to make his own next season.

McGinn missed the St Pauli game after going over on his foot during training on Monday but he is already looking forward to pre-season, especially the three-match tour of North America.

"I want to hit the ground running at the start of pre-season," the 22-year-old former Derry City player said. "Going to America is massive for the club because the support over there will be unbelievable. I know a large amount of Irish people go over there in the summer for two or three months to play Gaelic football."

Elsewhere, Tottenham midfielder Jamie O'Hara could ditch England and choose to play for the Republic of Ireland at international level.

O'Hara, who qualifies for Ireland through his grandparents, has played for England at U-21 level but has never been selected for the senior squad, and is expected to make a decision this summer.

"I've always loved playing for England so I wouldn't want to upset anyone or disrespect the Irish people as well, because I've got a lot of family in Ireland," he said. "It's going to be a difficult decision."

Irish Independent

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