THERE is no prospect of Celtic making a box office loan signing during the January transfer window, manager Neil Lennon has confirmed.
The club have made a habit of publicity-generating acquisitions at this juncture across the past decade, with Roy Keane, Robbie Keane, Craig Bellamy and Freddie Ljungberg all arriving to fanfares. But, even with interest waning from Celtic fans in their team’s march to a likely third straight championship, a bums-on-seats temporary addition is not on the cards.
“I don’t want to bring in any players like that because it won’t serve any purpose going forward,” said Lennon. “Any player we do bring in I would like to be permanent.”
A goalscorer is the priority and Lennon is believed to have watched AZ Alkmaar recently to assess the Dutch club’s US international striker Aron Johannsson.
“We are looking but we’ve not pushed the button on anyone yet,” Lennon said. “You know what January is like. Every day a new name will come forward. But we have plenty of options and we would hope to come out of January with a stronger squad than the one we went into it with.”
Lennon has been linked with a move for Dundee United’s Stuart Armstrong but would not be drawn on the player. He appears to have reservations about signing up young Scottish talent. “You’re always wary that they play well at a certain club and they come here to a different environment with different pressure they’re not used to,” Lennon said. “You don’t just look at their ability but their mental strength as well.”
Meanwhile, Lennon has yet to make a call on Japanese trialist Hiroki Yamada. “He’s still in the mix,” said the manager.