“deal has been agreed” – Manager confirms 29-cap Scot int’l wants to play for Celtic

Celtic returns to winning ways today after their 1-2 defeat at the hands of Rangers last month to kickoff their first match of the new year/decade with Leigh Griffiths scoring his first goal since August as Celtic beat Partick Thistle to record a 32nd consecutive win in domestic cup competition.

The Hoops side eased into the Scottish Cup last 16 at Firhill as they target a fourth consecutive treble. Callum McGregor added a second after Kenny Miller had earlier rattled a post for the Scottish Championship side.

Leigh Griffiths who was the man of the match this evening has told Celtic boss Neil Lennon that he is hungry for action for his side.

Griffiths spent the majority of the first half of the season out of the team due to injuries and personal problems and has started a Hoops match since the club’s Europa League group game against Cluj in Romania on December 12, with five subsequent substitute appearances last month.

The 29-cap former Scotland international‘s future at Celtic was under scrutiny when the club signed u-21 Poland international Patryk Klimala on a four-and-half year deal from Jagiellonia Bialystok earlier this week.

Klimala’s said to be a back up number for the club’s number one striker Odsonne Edouard, with attacker Vakoun Bayo still in recovering from knee injury.

However, ahead of their William Hill Scottish Cup fourth-round tie against Partick Thistle on today, boss Lennon was asked if any other strikers were on the horizon.

“We have Odsonne in and Griff and Griff is looking good.

“He had a good Dubai trip and trained well again this week so maybe not.

“We will see how things go over the next few weeks.

“I can’t comment on speculation surrounding any player really.

“There has been a lot in the last few months about Griff.

“But he is hungry and he wants to play and he has made that pretty clear to me.”

Reports claim Ivory coast striker Bayo has asked to leave the club on loan for the second half of the season.

Lennon said: “I have no inclination about that at all.

“Bayo has had a few injuries but he is just coming back from a long-term injury. He is back in training now.

“We are hoping there will be a couple of deals done this week where people either go on loan or go permanently.

“There will be two or three players maybe going to leave, said the Hoops boss, who confirmed Celtic also agreed a deal with Israeli side Bnei Yehuda to sign midfielder Ismaila Soro.

The 21-year-old has been linked to Celtic in recent weeks and regarding his move to the Celtic Park, Lennon added:

“I think a deal has been agreed.

“We are waiting on paperwork now so hopefully that can be resolved over the next few days.

“It will be a good. He is a good player, strong, technically very good, quick across the ground, hungry.

“He is like a number six, very powerful. Gets the ball back, good close control, quite smart with the passes but at that age he still has a bit of work to do in terms of his tactical awareness.

“We like what we saw. We will give him time to adapt but I think he can play some games between now and the end of the season.

“We have done a lot of work on him. We done a lot of work on Klimala and he is in the building.

“It is good to get a couple of players in to freshen things up a bit.

“It gives a lift. Training has been good and the boys are itching to get back into it.

“We had a good week in Dubai and a good week this week so looking forward to the game tomorrow.”

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