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Frantic end to window for Lennon


Celtic's Joe Ledley. Picture credit: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

Celtic's Joe Ledley. Picture credit: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

Celtic's Joe Ledley. Picture credit: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

NEIL LENNON is bracing himself for a frantic spell before the transfer window closes tomorrow night.

The Hoops boss has no immediate need for new faces with the SPFL title virtually secured, but navigating through three Champions League qualifiers starting in July is at the forefront of his plans.

Midfielder Stefan Johansen joined in a €2.5m deal from Stromgodset but the priority signing of a striker, effectively a replacement for Gary Hooper, remains unfulfilled.

Two bids for Leigh Griffiths have been turned down by Wolves, who are believed to be holding out for €1.4m, which could kill off Celtic's interest.

Clouding the issue is the uncertainty over Joe Ledley (pictured) and Georgios Samaras, who are both out of contract in the summer with no signs of progress towards signing up or selling either player.

The contrast between the two was evident in last night's 4-0 win over Kilmarnock, which saw Ledley open the scoring and pick up the man-of-the-match award, while Samaras remained on the bench as Lennon introduced three substitutes, including Amido Balde, who scored the fourth goal.

"I'll be glad at 11.01pm on Friday when I can get the feet up and concentrate on the squad I have for the remainder of the season," Lennon admitted last night.

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

The main speculation will continue over signing a striker, with others targets identified as well as Griffiths and one other bid was rejected yesterday.

"It is still very, very delicate and we'll wait and see what tomorrow brings on that," Lennon added.

"I am not saying the Griffiths deal is dead by any means, but we do have other people in mind, not for that particular position, but also for other positions."

The win against Kilmarnock stretched Celtic's lead at the top of the table to 18 points.