Neil Lennon in Odsonne Edouard Celtic transfer vow as boss takes stock of talks on striker’s new deal


Neil Lennon says Celtic won’t be taken with their guard down if and when star striker Odsonne Edouard wins a Parkhead move.The Hoops blunderer is in desperate need of keeping the 22-year-old Frenchman, who has been a revelation since arriving from PSG.

Edouard’s current contract does not expire until 2022.

But despite opening extension talks with the 28-goal leader in June, no progress has been made in securing a new deal.

Leicester City boss Brendan Rodgers has already shown interest in Edward.

And with an extended transfer window until October 5, Lennon is preparing to bid for some of his stars.

But having already replaced Moussa Dembele and Kieran Tierney in recent years for huge transfer fees, Lennon insists the club will be prepared for any transfer eventuality.

Ahead of the Celtic Premiership opening against Hamilton Accies, the manager said: “It’s like you were with Edward’s deal.

“There was no other movement one way or the other.

“But whether it’s Odsonne or any other player – like in previous years when we sold guys like Dembele and Tierney – we’ll be prepared for it.

“There can be intense speculation around some of our players so we have to plan ahead.

“This is what we do, it’s like a circular motion.

“We need to keep the wheels moving and be prepared for any eventuality when the market opens.

“It will be a long transfer window until October. There will be pros and cons.

“You just don’t know, a club might come in and show a real interest in one of your players.

“Then you have to play a waiting game to see if they’re going to bid or if it’s just disturbing the player involved.

“I don’t know how it’s going to turn out but we’ll have to adapt.”

Meanwhile, as his team prepare for their 10-in-a-row assault, Lennon has revealed that even if they reach their holy grail, Celtic’s quest for trophies won’t stop.

He said: “We are looking to improve this season, nationally and in Europe.

“But ultimately, at the start of the season, the priority is always to win the title – whether it’s your 10th or your first.

“Of course, for the players there is a real motivation for them at the end of this season, but if we get the 10, it doesn’t stop.

“That’s what we need to clarify to the players and that’s what we think behind the scenes. We always want to develop people and improve the team. “

Lennon has yet to decide whether to fire new Greek goalkeeper Vasilis Barkas for his debut against Accies this afternoon.

But he says he’s in no rush to recruit another backup goalie, despite the loss of Fraser Forster and Craig Gordon.

Lennon said: “We’ll take a perspective on this as we speak to Stevie Woods, our goaltending coach.

“We are delighted to have completed Barkas and we also have Scott Bain on a long term contract.

“We have Conor Hazard who did very well in the pre-season.

“The position is therefore not a major priority for us at the moment.

“If Barkas isn’t ready, we’ll go with Bain, who also had a good pre-season campaign. “


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