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McGeady will not go cheap

Neil Lennon has warned Spartak Moscow that they won't get Aiden McGeady on the cheap. The Russian giants have had a €10m offer for the midfielder rejected by Celtic but are expected to return with an improved bid.

Lennon is looking to add to his squad and believes that retaining McGeady is essential if Celtic are to take the title from Rangers.

The new Celtic boss said: "The figure that has been banded about isn't enough. It would have to be a ridiculous amount of money for us to accept a deal for Aiden."

McGeady, at the age of 24, is the most experienced player that Lennon has and someone that the new boss is anxious to retain as well as bringing in new faces. He added: "I've got quality players here. The last eight SPL games showed that I can get performances out of them but consistency is the key -- especially with the younger players.

Immature

"We have a young age group here, I wouldn't say that they are immature but they are young, there are only a few who have won championships.

"I like experience but I want that with quality, there's no point bringing in old heads that can't play.

"I want to go down the more experienced route, the expectations here are huge and players have to buy into that quickly -- we can't win one in three; its got to be three out of three."

Lennon's main priority is to speak to Robbie Keane about returning to Glasgow after his loan spell from Tottenham last season.

Sol Campbell, Jimmy Bullard and Joe Ledley are all transfer targets for Lennon but bringing Keane back -- even if it's only on loan for another season -- is the deal that the Celtic support are hoping for, although Lennon also has his eyes on Craig Bellamy.

"I'd love to have Robbie Keane back here but it'll be his decision," Lennon admitted. "I had a chat with him at the end of the season and I would like to speak to him again. Whether the club can make that happen is another matter and whether he wants to come back, I don't know. He would take a lot of convincing.

"He might have his own thoughts elsewhere, he never really gave a clear indication to me that he would be back.

"Craig (Bellamy) is another player I admire. He's in the stratosphere as far as wages are concerned. Again, it would be great to have him, but whether he'd want to come and whether we could do a deal, it's a long way off.

"But we have an interest in Sol (Campbell) and he's shown interest as well."

One player who will be back is Cillian Sheridan who has been out on loan at Motherwell, Plymouth and St Johnstone since he last played for Celtic under Gordon Strachan.

The striker from Cavan picked up two international caps against Algeria and Paraguay but Lennon is still to be convinced that he is ready to become a Celtic regular.

The new boss admitted: "Cillian will be back here on July 1. We'll assess him in pre-season but there is interest from clubs to take him out on loan again which might be an option for him.

"Although he's broken into the Republic of Ireland team he might need another loan so we'll have to assess him in pre-season."

Lennon also paid tribute to Peter Lawwell for his part in the Irishman being made Celtic manager. The 38-year-old former Hoops' captain was flanked by chairman John Reid at a press conference at Parkhead yesterday when it was confirmed that he would be Tony Mowbray's successor, after a spell as interim boss.

Lennon took time out to thank the club's chief executive for persuading him to stay at Parkhead last year when other clubs tried to tempt him away. "I have a very good working relationship with Peter and I would like to make the point that I probably wouldn't be here if it wasn't for him," the former Northern Ireland international said.


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