Lennon happy if window shopping is kept to a minimum

THE transfer window swings open tomorrow – and Neil Lennon will be delighted if it's the quietest he's ever experienced as Celtic manager.

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Lennon looks to keep change to a minimum at Parkhead
Lennon looks to keep change to a minimum at Parkhead

The Hoops boss is in talks to bring 24-year-old Israeli defender Rami Gershon on loan from Belgian club Standard Liege.

With Efe Ambrose heading to the African Cup of Nations from mid-January until possibly February 10, and Kelvin Wilson fighting a two-game ban, Lennon believes he needs to bolster his defence.

Adding a wide left player with pace is also on his wish list.

But if the month ends with little or no business being done, he will be content.

He said: "I don't think we need to do too much surgery either way, really. So in that respect, it could be the quietest window in my time as manager.

"We are hoping to bring one or two in, but I don't envisage too much traffic either coming in or going out.

"I am hoping for that, anyway.

"I have got all the components that I want, bar one or two just to make us complete."

During the five transfer windows he has been in charge, Celtic have been the club who have been involved with most players going in and out.

In the initial stages, after he took over from Tony Mowbray in 2010, there were wholesale changes, with, at times, entire teams leaving and arriving in just the one window.

But it is now a measure of how highly he regards the squad he has built that Lennon reckons only a few minor tweaks are required this time around.

What will define whether or not it has been the kind of window Lennon wants will be emerging with all his key players still here.

He is only too aware the exploits of Gary Hooper, Victor Wanyama and Fraser Forster in the Champions League have made them targets for clubs south of the border and abroad.

Lennon would prefer if the club's resolve to retain their top stars, unless sensational offers come in, is not put to the test.

It could be an ideal opportunity to tidy up the squad, with a few of the fringe players allowed to move on or go out on loan.

But Lennon considers the group to have been trimmed as much as it needed to be in the summer, and does not envisage anyone knocking on his door asking to go.

That includes the big names, and Lennon hopes he can welcome in February without having said farewell to anyone he wants to keep.

"At the minute, I'm pretty confident that's going to be the case," he said.

"Things can change very quickly during a transfer window.

"But the players seem happy to be here, and I am happy with them.

"The transfer window is always exciting, but we will see what it brings."

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