NEIL LENNON admitted that he was nowhere near being at the stage where he’d finished adding to his squad in this transfer window, while revealing that Arsenal had NOT come back with a third bid for Kieran Tierney.
The full media conference with the Celtic manager can be viewed below and this is an ideal way in which the club are getting the exact words spoken by the manager and players out to the support. Those who like to add their own spin are less able to do so as a result. Perfect!
On tomorrow’s night’s vital Champions League second round qualifier against Nomme Kalju the Celtic manager has Mikey Johnston back in the squad and both Marian Shved and Bayo are both back to full fitness, while Tierney and Tom Rogic are continuing with their rehab work and should be back shortly.
Lenny points out that the Estonian Champions are hard to break down – both goals conceded in the last round were from penalties and he noted that Nomme Kalju scored a decent goal from a corner. The Celtic players have been fully briefed.
“We negotiated a tough tie and I’m expecting the same here. With the first-leg at home it’s not always ideal, but we hope to take a good result over there,” Lenny said.
Lennon gave an insight into his knowledge of the game in Israel and how that has led to the imminent signing of Hatem Abd Elhamed. The player is waiting on a work permit and has to go through his medical and hopefully this will be concluded in time to have him involved in the third round, should Celtic get through. Both Bitton and Kayal – as we reported yesterday, see HERE – have given Lenny the low-down on the next Celtic signing who is a converted right back to centre half.
Hatem Abd Elhamed played most of his career at right back but has played in the centre of the defence over the past two seasons.
On the summer speculation on Kieran Tierney being sold to England – last year it was Everton, this time Arsenal – but just like last time around it is looking increasingly like the cash-rich English sides, doped up with huge TV deals, don’t fancy meeting the bargain price that Celtic are insisting on. Good.
“Like I said all along this could be an unsettling period for any individual, Kieran is no different. He’s been getting on with his work, and maybe this is the endgame as far as Arsenal are concerned,” Lenny said.
“We are in a good position like I’ve always said, we had no intentions of selling, he’s under a long term contract and we want to progress with us. It’s as you were really. I’ve had no information other than there was two bids that came in from Arsenal that were rejected. Great.
“There has been no further inroads into that really. Our valuation of Kieran wasn’t met and it’s as simple as that. ‘You will see other transfers not going through because valuations haven’t been met. It’s not a case of Arsenal being disrespectful.’
“They put a bid in that they valued the player at. They came back again and obviously see Kieran as a very good player, as we do. But on a long-term contract we’re in a very strong position when it comes to Kieran.” Wonderful.
“What will be will be, and what’s for you won’t go by, I know it’s a Scottish saying but it’s true. There might be other suitors along the way, not that I’m aware of but it wouldn’t surprise me, but at the minute there’s no other information that I can give you other than he’s here and he’s working back to full fitness.
“We’re speaking hypothetically here but if he were to have left I’m sure it would have been a huge wrench for him personally because everyone knows what the club means to him and he means to the support and the people here in the building.
“Thankfully we’re not at that junction just yet.” There’s plenty of time after the Ten, Kieran.
Watch Neil Lennon’s Media Conference below…
Also on The Celtic Star today…
David Potter on Celtic’s Baptism of Fire in European Football, another great read from one of The Celtic Star’s finest writers…see HERE.
Lewis Morgan on loving playing for Celtic and the amazing atmosphere in Paradise…see HERE.
Marvin Compper plays a full 90 (ninety) minutes. Hard to believe but true…see HERE.
Leigh Griffiths on how those disgraceful chants from the Rangers supporters impacted on his family…see HERE.
Big Erik’s excited about knocking the Rangers out of the Europa League, if they get past Progres…see HERE.