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Senderos is Celts target

Tony Mowbray has identified Arsenal defender Philippe Senderos as the man to shore up his leaky defence.

Celtic were in talks with Arsenal over the weekend about taking the Swiss defender on loan until the end of the season.

The player is desperate to get out of Arsenal to seal his place in Switzerland's World Cup side, and has been told that his contract at the Emirates won't be renewed.

Sol Campbell's return to Arsenal has put Senderos even further down the pecking order in Arsene Wenger's plans, with talks to move to Celtic said to be at an advanced stage.


Celtic wouldn't be able to match his £30,000-a-week deal with Arsenal but are negotiating a compromise deal to bring in the defender in time for Sunday's SPL clash away to St Johnstone.

Former AIK Stockholm defender Jos Hooived is a fortnight away from full fitness as Celtic finished Saturday's draw with Falkirk with a defensive partnership of Darren O'Dea and teenager Josh Thompson who was making his debut.

O'Dea was called into his first match since Reading's 4-1 defeat at QPR in October and looked rusty as Carl Finnegan's opened the scoring for Falkirk in the 19th minute.

An injury to Stephen McManus forced Mowbray into bringing on Thompson, with O'Dea handed the captain's armband in a side that had five changes from the one that drew 1-1 with Rangers in their last outing.

It was a familiar story of possession without creating chances or scoring goals that frustrated the home supporters as they watched their side fall nine points behind Rangers in the championship.

Despite the pressure and frustrations Mowbray is convinced that his side is developing along the right tracks, although the need for new faces, in attack and defence, is obvious.

"We are in decent shape," the Celtic boss claimed. "You talk about us being nine points behind but let's judge when the season finishes, and I've got every confidence in this group of player.

"If I thought there was major surgery to do, I would be more concerned. I think the players have high enough quality to turn these games into victories, I'm sure that somewhere along the line we are going to score a lot of goals."