Samaras still in Lennon's plans at Celtic

CELTIC could get back round the negotiating table with Georgios Samaras as Neil Lennon insists the striker is still part of his Parkhead plans.

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Boss Neil Lennon says he has spoken to Georgios Samaras about his position and admits talks over a new deal may open up again in the next week or so
Boss Neil Lennon says he has spoken to Georgios Samaras about his position and admits talks over a new deal may open up again in the next week or so

The Greek's current deal expires in the summer and he is able to talk to clubs about a Bosman switch that would see the Hoops receive nothing for him if he does opt to leave.

Celtic cashed in on midfielder Joe Ledley last week after he clinched a move to Barclays Premier League side Crystal Palace.

And interest in Samaras is high, with Sunderland, Atletico Madrid and Turkish side Trabzonspor all linked with a swoop for the striker.

The 28-year-old was an unused substitute as Celtic extended their lead at the top of the table with a 1-0 win over St Mirren at the weekend.

But boss Lennon won't marginalise the Greek international as his deal remains unsigned.

Lennon said: "He is still in my plans. He was in the squad on Sunday. I felt we were on top in the game so we didn't need to utilise him.

"I had a chat with him before the game so he knows where I am with him and he is the same. Maybe talks will start up again in the next week or so."

Samaras has fallen another place down the Parkhead pecking order in recent days after Lennon completed a deal to sign Scotland striker Leigh Griffiths from Wolves.

The 23-year-old made his first appearance in the Hoops as Stevie Frail's Under-20 side beat Partick Thistle at Lennoxtown yesterday afternoon.

Griffiths played the first 45 minutes of the Jags clash that saw fellow January arrival Holmbert Fridjonsson hit the target as a Patrik Twardzik penalty and brace from midfielder John Herron clinched a comfortable win for the Celtic kids.

Meanwhile, Parkhead legend Kenny Dalglish has called for severe action to be taken after Lennon was forced to leave Saturday's League Cup semi-final at Tynecastle after being targeted by yobs.

Dalglish said: "I never experienced anything like that. I don't know why I never or why Neil did, I just know

I never had it.

"It's not acceptable. If it was a player they would be scrutinising the video tapes to get the culprits. Let's hope they do the same and punish them severely."

Elsewhere, the SPFL will take no action against Celtic following complaints about a banner displayed at the SPFL Premiership fixture against Aberdeen in November.

A giant 'H' was unfurled in the section occupied by the Green Brigade along with the message 'they fought and died for their wee bit hill and glen'.

But the Hampden governing body have decided not to punish the club after it was determined that no rules were breached by the display, which was condemned by Celtic.


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