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Hoops hope duo will be staying put


Celtic's Joe Ledley. Picture credit: Jeff Holmes/PA Wire

Celtic's Joe Ledley. Picture credit: Jeff Holmes/PA Wire

Celtic's Joe Ledley. Picture credit: Jeff Holmes/PA Wire

NEIL LENNON is hopeful of extending the contracts of Georgios Samaras and Joe Ledley.

The experienced duo are out of contract in the summer and have been linked with moves to the English Premier League, with Atletico Madrid also believed to be tracking Samaras.

Both players have been an integral part of Celtic's success under Lennon with the hoops boss still hopeful of agreeing new deals with Ledley scoring the only goal in yesterday's 1-0 win over Partick Thistle.

"I want Joe to stay," Lennon confirmed. "He has shown great mental strength because it must be a very unsettling period for him as it will be with Georgios as well.

"Joe has intimated that he'd like to stay and I'm hoping to speak to his representatives this week and get that finalised. I thought that he was our best player today by a considerable margin.

"You are never confident (about agreeing a new deal) but I'm hopeful.

"I need a spine to stay together, the likes of Brown, Ledley and others like Commons and Samaras."

For the third match running Celtic won by a single goal, with Ledley netting the only goal of the game with a 25-yard-drive in the 39th minute.

Teemu Pukki and Charlie Mulgrew replaced Anthony Stokes and Samaras in the starting line-up but once again Kris Commons was the only player in the Celtic side that looked capable of creating an opening.

Partick went into the match without a win in their nine previous outings but gave the Celtic defence a number of scares before Ledley's strike sapped their enthusiasm.

"In terms of where I want to take the team and the club forward I think we need an injection of quality and that takes a bit of money," said Lennon.

"We need an injection of new blood, there's no question that the squad needs freshened up and we'll endeavour to do that."

Asked about reports linking Celtic with an interest in Wolves striker Leigh Griffiths, Lennon said: "It's just speculation, I'm not going to comment on individual names.

"I'm determined to bring players in to make the squad better in the latter half of the season."