ALEKSANDAR Tonev’s agent last night confirmed Werder Bremen are showing serious interest in ending the Bulgarian’s troubled spell at Celtic.
The on-loan Aston Villa winger’s appeal against his seven-game SFA ban for a racial slur on Aberdeen defender Shay Logan was thrown out last week.
Celtic have stated they won’t take the matter any further and Tonev is back home with his family while he sits out the ban.
However, Bundesliga strugglers Werder Bremen have shown interest in signing the Bulgarian international from Villa, which would cut short his loan spell at Parkhead. And his agent confirmed Tonev could leave Scottish football next month. Nikolay Zheynov said: “Werder have again shown interest in him, but at this stage we don’t yet know whether the transfer will go through.”
Bremen tried to sign Tonev two years ago when he was with Lech Poznan, but he chose to go to England with Villa instead. Now they are involved in a Bundesliga relegation battle and are desperate for reinforcements.
Zheynov added: “Before he signed for Villa, I went to Germany with Aleksandar and told him to sign for Werder.
“He chose Aston Villa and I told him that was a mistake. He didn’t listen to me and I was proved right. Now Werder want him again and I hope he makes the right decision this time. It depends on how keen Villa are to sell him and whether he wants to go to Germany.”
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Zheynov also insisted Tonev is no racist. He said: “I’ve known him for years and I cannot believe that he was guilty of racism. Unfortunately, you have to respect the punishment.
Meanwhile, Ronny Deila has given his “sleeping bear” of a Celtic side only six out of ten for the year-ending report card.
Celtic lost their first league game in nine against Dundee United at Tannadice on Sunday but remain four points clear of Jackie McNamara’s team and Aberdeen at the top of the Scottish Premiership.
Celtic are still in the William Hill Scottish Cup, where they travel to Dundee in the fifth-round and they look forward to a League Cup semi-final against Rangers at Hampden Park at the beginning of February. And, after passing up two chances to get into the Champions League, the Parkhead side battled through to second place in their Europa League group and face Inter Milan in a last-32 tie later in the same month.
Ahead of the visit of Ross County in the league on Saturday, the Norwegian summed up the first six months of his tenure as Celtic boss.
“The results are good but I see so much possibilities there,” he said. “When I see the possession and pressure we have and how we are controlling games, it is about getting possession into goal chances.
“With the potential we have, I would give us a five, six maybe. We have a long way to go but it is quite good also.
“This club is a sleeping bear. It is a huge club, we have so many talented players and good staff
“We have just have to have the energy to work and progress, want to learn and get better. If you have that you can reach your goals.”
Ross County winger Tony Dingwall has agreed a new contract but will not be involved against Celtic and faces at least three weeks out with a broken bone in his hand.
Dingwall and Jamie Reckord have both agreed extensions beyond January, while manager Jim McIntyre will try to get Paul Quinn and Martin Woods tied up beyond next month, too.
Dingwall, 20, who recently scored a double against Motherwell, will sign until summer 2017, while 22-year-old former Wolves left-back Reckord has committed himself to a further 18 months after his recent arrival. McIntyre said: “Jamie Reckord will sign an extension and Tony Dingwall will sign a new contract as well. We will have discussions with Martin and Paul and will definitely be looking to offer them a contract.”
McIntyre added: “Tony Dingwall has broken a bone in his knuckle area and is having an operation. He is going to have to be in a plaster for three weeks. Once that is off he will have it X-rayed and, hopefully, then he will be able to get straight back into training with a protective glove.”
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