Davie Hay: Transfer clock is ticking for Celtic boss

THE January transfer window closes a week tonight and I am sure Neil Lennon will be working right up until the deadline to add players to his Celtic squad.

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Celtic boss Neil Lennon has a week to tie up targets. Graphic: Damian Shields
Celtic boss Neil Lennon has a week to tie up targets. Graphic: Damian Shields

Neil has already signed Holmbert Fridjonsson and Stefan Johansen this month, and I think his priority in the time that is left will be a another striker.

If he can get a creative midfielder in as well then I am sure he will see this as a productive few weeks of business.

There are names being linked to Celtic all the time: Leigh Griffiths, Robert Snodgrass, Rhys Williams and Michael Morrison are just some of the names touted as possible targets, but there will be a list of players Neil is working on bringing to the club and names nobody knows yet.

Getting another striker in will be his aim between now and the close of the window.

Neil will have looked at a lot of players recently, but the main thing about any striker is that he scores goals.

There are other things you have to look at, like how he leads the line, his link-up play, whether you could play him on his own in Europe.

But the main thing you have to look for is a knack of being in the right place at the right time and scoring goals.

They will be looking for someone in the mould of Gary Hooper and a player who can score the number of goals that he did for Celtic.

Hopefully he is able to pull a deal off this week.

It is not impossible to do good business in the January window, but it is certainly more difficult because clubs don't want to lose their best players midway through a season.

Clubs are often unwilling to let players go and sometimes players don't want to move this month either. They can quite often be happy to sit tight and let their contracts run down.

There has been talk about the merits of the January transfer window.

It does have its uses, though, and it allows you to strengthen again and breathe fresh life into your season if you can bring the right players in.

In the past, you didn't have this window, but people have become accustomed to it now and teams always look to take advantage of it if they can.

Deals can be done, though. There are players available and we know Celtic are in the market.

It looks like Georgios Samaras will move on, whether it is in this window or at the end of the season, so bringing in another forward is a must.

It depends who Celtic are going for, how much they are going for and whether everything can come together before the deadline next Friday.

Celtic don't need new players in to help them win the league this season so Neil can afford to look long-term.

By bringing players in now, he can start building for the Champions League qualifiers later this year.

Hopefully by the time those games come around any players brought in over the next week will have bedded in and are ready to go.

The Champions League is always the target and Neil will be planning for those games as he scours the market for more new faces.

He won't have to sell Celtic to anyone he is looking at. The club speaks for itself.

The club have to back him in terms of the transfer fee and the wages, though.

Celtic have set out a strategy that has worked for them, we know they can't compete with the top leagues and clubs around Europe for the big-name players these days.

But what they do have to do is tweak their strategy a bit - without, of course, busting the bank.

If it means getting a certain calibre of player in to the club, then the budgets might have to be looked at both in terms of the transfer fee and the wages they are willing to pay.

Hopefully there are more new faces come next Friday night.

Football

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