Trio confirm attempts to sign Celtic players

THE transfer speculation at Celtic intensified today when Gordon Strachan, Alex McLeish and Roberto Martinez all confirmed they had made attempts to sign players from the Parkhead club.

Middlesbrough boss Strachan, who quit Celtic in the summer, confirmed he had held talks with his old team over a series of transfer targets.

Birmingham manager McLeish admitted he had made an enquiry about Aiden McGeady but has cooled his interest after being told the player is not for sale.

And Wigan's Martinez confirmed he failed in a bid to take Scott McDonald on loan until the end of the season.

Strachan, who has been linked with Gary Caldwell, Stephen McManus, Barry Robson, Mark Wilson, Willo Flood and McDonald, as well as Rangers striker Kris Boyd, is giving nothing away about the names on his wishlist.

Reports north of the border have suggested Caldwell, Robson and Flood were the main focus of discussions between the two clubs earlier this week as Boro attempt to re-shape their squad on a tight budget.

McLeish said of his attempt to land winger McGeady: "We have made enquiries for several players. I am not going to confirm or deny any names.

"But as regards Aiden McGeady, we made an enquiry but we were told he is not for sale."

Martinez claimed he did not have the funds to complete an instant deal this month for McDonald, who has netted 64 goals in 128 games since signing from Motherwell.

Martinez is in need of reinforcements up front to ease the burden on Hugo Rodallega, with £2m summer signing Jason Scotland yet to score, and Martinez admits he is an admirer of Australian McDonald.

Meanwhile, Tours striker Olivier Giroud has given up on the idea of joining Celtic, although he will definitely be leaving the Ligue 2 club at the end of the season.

The Hoops have been in negotiations with Tours to secure the services of their star forward, who has been in superb form this season.

Giroud has revealed he is close to securing a deal with a top-level club but insists he will now not be moving to Parkhead.