Wednesday 17 January 2018

Doyle way down pecking order for place at Wolves but Celtic could make move today

Ireland's Kevin Doyle
Ireland's Kevin Doyle
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

WOLVES manager Kenny Jackett claims that Kevin Doyle has work to do to get into his side in the unlikely event that he stays at Molineux. Jackett has suggested the Wexford man is fifth in his pecking order at this stage of pre-season.

However, if Garry Hooper's move to QPR from Celtic goes through today then the way could be clear for Doyle to join Celtic.

If he is to feature in Celtic's next Champions League clash, then Doyle would have to registered as a Celtic player this evening by 11pm.

But Scottish reports suggest that Neil Lennon is also looking at two other strikers – Hamburg's Artjom Rudnevs and Tunisian Saber Khelifa, who is on the books of French side Evian.

League One football would not appeal to Doyle, and Wolves are keen to get him off their wage bill. If his departure was delayed, Jackett could involve him in the early weeks of the new campaign, but he has indicated that he will focus on youth rather than the club-record £6.5m capture.

Doyle has shaken off a groin problem, but was left out of the Wolves side for their 2-1 win at Chesterfield on Tuesday. Instead, Jackett used Leigh Griffiths, Bjorn Sigurdarson, Jake Cassidy and Liam McAlinden in forward positions across the course of the evening. Griffiths spent the last two seasons on loan starring with Pat Fenlon's Hibernian. McAlinden (20) is English-born but turned down advances from Northern Ireland to pledge his allegiance to Ireland.

"I wanted to give the younger forwards a chance. We will see with Kevin but I didn't want to disappoint or move any of the younger guys out.

"With Kevin, I just felt he hasn't done enough to push any of those guys out yet," said Jackett.

"Cassidy, Griffiths and McAlinden haven't had much time on the pitch at Wolves and they were overlooked before, but they won't be overlooked this year."

Meanwhile, unwanted Irish trio Shay Given, Stephen Ireland and Enda Stevens have been given another reminder of where they stand at Aston Villa as their list of squad numbers for the new season was released.

The trio have been told they can leave by manager Paul Lambert. Given has No 35, Stevens has No 37 and Ireland has No 40. Irish international Ciaran Clark will wear No 6 while U-21 star Samir Carruthers is registered at No 25.

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