Saturday 21 April 2018

Stokes' father caught in row over claims striker wants to quit Celtic

Stokes: Not in Trapattoni squad
Stokes: Not in Trapattoni squad
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

Anthony Stokes has been dragged into another storm involving his father, John, who claimed that the Dubliner was keen to leave Celtic after losing his place in recent weeks.

The striker was on the bench for the Hoops in Sunday's CIS Cup final defeat to Rangers and has failed to build on his early promise at Parkhead since his summer move.

His father caused a storm in Scotland with comments attributed to him in the aftermath of the game which suggested that Stokes wasn't appreciated by manager Neil Lennon.

Stokes Snr, who hit the headlines last week with a banner at his Players Lounge bar in Fairview which said that the Queen wasn't welcome there during her visit in May, insists he was misquoted by Scottish journalists who turned up in Dublin for a charity event.

"He isn't going to be at Celtic if he isn't going to play against Rangers or in the big games," John was reported as saying. "My advice to him is move from Celtic and put in an immediate transfer request. I think he will because he told me he wants out.

"For whatever reason, Lennon just doesn't fancy him. They obviously don't trust him. He was absolutely furious on the bench. I know he is furious that Lennon doesn't have the confidence in him."

However, the elder Stokes was on the backtrack yesterday, claiming that he had an entirely different discussion.

"I was at a function with friends in the bar and Scottish reporters turned up. I never said anything about Anthony putting in a transfer request. I'm delighted he's at Celtic and so is he," he said.

"We're all Celtic supporters here and anyone who knows me understands how happy I am to see Anthony wearing the hoops. I haven't been Anthony's agent for four years and I have no say in what he does or doesn't do in his career."

Stokes failed to make Giovanni Trapattoni's Ireland squad for this week's Euro 2012 qualifier with Macedonia and the subsequent friendly with Uruguay.

Irish Independent

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