Celtic striker Leigh Griffiths never seems to be out of the media. Whether it’s fitness issues, spats with Neil Lennon, new contracts or police investigations – Leigh’s name has constantly been in the red tops of late.
After being awarded a surprise new contract, which many feel is a final chance for the player at Celtic, he was swiftly sent home from the club’s pre-season training camp whilst the police investigated allegations of inappropriate messages being sent to a girl under the age of 16. Though ultimately found not guilty of any criminality, the striker is now facing another uphill fitness battle because he has missed out on each of the Hoops’ four friendlies to date.
Speaking to the media about Griffiths, after the Bhoys’ 0-0 draw with Bristol City in midweek, Ange Postecoglou said: “You know how much time I have spent thinking about that? You’ve asked me and I’ve just thought about it. We’ll let it run its course and once it’s done and we get back up to Scotland then we’ll deal with it then. I’ve not spoken to him.”
He certainly appears to have fallen out of the manager’s plans at present and the signing of Kyogo Furuhashi, combined with Albian Ajeti’s goalscoring exploits in pre-season, the task of breaking into the starting line up will be a tough one for Griffiths.
Against that chaotic backdrop, Sunderland have emerged as a club thought to be keen on making a shock loan move for the player. Sunderland manager Lee Johnson is chasing a goalscorer after losing Charlie Wyke to Wigan recently. Griffiths only has a 12 month deal at Parkhead, but if he no longer features in Postecoglou’s plans then he may be sent south to run down his contract on another club’s wage bill.
Nothing concrete has been offered by the Black Cats yet, but reports in the mainstream media do suggest that the League 1 side are exploring the option.