Celtic won't be making move for Mexican

CELTIC boss Ronny Deila is targeting an injection of pace and quality to help the Hoops qualify for the Group Stage of the Champions League.

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Javier Aquino (right) was in the Mexican squad at the recent World Cup finals
Javier Aquino (right) was in the Mexican squad at the recent World Cup finals

But Mexican flying machine Javier Aquino will not be moving from Villarreal to Parkhead.

Reports in the Spanish press claimed the man who played against Holland at the World Cup finals in Brazil was already in Glasgow discussing a season-long loan to the SPFL champions.

Aquino - who has the same agent as Teemu Pukki - has only been at Villarreal since January last year, having moved there from Cruz Azul in his homeland.

But though the diminutive right winger has struggled to win a regular starting place at the Spanish side, he is not about to be offered a way out - even temporarily -by Celtic.

Deila has already shot down reports that Osterunds FK striker, Modou Barrow, was on his shopping list. He is in the market for a wide player who can offer his team the pace which is lacking while James Forrest remains on the sidelines with a thigh problem.

Derk Boerrigter has been given his opportunity to stake a claim during the pre-season warm-up matches, and started again at the weekend when the Hoops drew 1-1 with Dynamo Dresden.

However, the Dutchman has yet to rediscover the form he showed when with Ajax, and Leigh Griffiths has reluctantly been pushed into a wide berth on a couple of occasions.

Callum McGregor - who scored the only goal in last week's first-leg victory over KR Reykjavik in Iceland - has looked much more comfortable and effective playing on the left.

And the 21-year-old is expected to retain his place for the return leg at the BT Murrayfield Stadium tomorrow night.

Although the signing deadline for this round has passed, the Hoops can still add to their squad for next week's third qualifying round - against either St Pat's or Legia Warsaw.

And Deila has made it clear that, having taken his time to assess everyone in the squad he inherited from Neil Lennon, he would like to augment the player pool.

So far, the only acquisition he has made is Craig Gordon, who had been out of the game for two seasons before the Hoops handed him a two-year contract.

The 31-year-old returned to action when he played the first 45 minutes against Dresden, and his agility, safe handling and quick movement across the ground impressed the manager.

Fraser Forster - who played in Iceland but did not figure at the weekend - is expected to return to the starting line-up tomorrow.

But Deila concedes there is now real competition for the No.1 position at the club, something he believes will raise the performance levels of everyone vying for the shirt.

Before finalising his side, the Hoops boss will check on the condition of Kris Commons, who limped out of the draw in Dresden after opening the scoring for Celtic.

The 30-year-old attacking midfielder suffered a dead leg. He has been receiving treatment since coming off the pitch just before half-time and appears to be on course to make it in time.

Meanwhile, Celtic's Under-17 squad, managed by Tommy McIntyre, beat Sheffield United 6-3 in Aberdeen to win the Denis Law Tournament.


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