Celtic admit interest in Villa striker Libor Kozak

Celtic have confirmed their interest in Libor Kozak of Aston Villa. Picture: Getty Images
Celtic have confirmed their interest in Libor Kozak of Aston Villa. Picture: Getty Images
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Celtic will bring their ill-starred Europa League campaign to a conclusion in Turkey tonight but they are already looking ahead to January when they will attempt to augment their squad for the remainder of the season and aim to deliver a domestic treble to compensate for disappointement on the continental stage.

The Parkhead side are “looking to strengthen all over”, according to assistant manager John Collins who confirmed the club had revived their interest in Aston Villa striker Libor Kozak.

The Czech attacker was watched by manager Ronny Deila playing for Villa’s under-21 side this week and he scored twice in a 2-1 win over Derby County.

Collins, speaking before boarding a plane to Istanbul for this evening’s match against Fenerbahce, said they were keeping tabs on Kozak.

“Ronny went down and had a look at the game and of course he [Kozak] scored a couple of goals but there’s nothing imminent,” Collins said.

“We’re looking to strengthen all over to be honest.”

Deila is looking to engineer Celtic’s first Europa League win of the season in what he admits is Group A’s most difficult fixture – away to Fenerbahce.

The Scottish champions cannot qualify for the knockout stages after taking only two points from the first five fixtures while the home side, who lost their opening match at home to Molde, need only one point to stay above Ajax to guarantee joining the Norwegian side in the last 32.

Deila, speaking at the Sukru Saracoglu stadium before his side trained, was asked if the trip to Istanbul was the toughest test in the section.

He said: “I think so, I think it is the toughest game. We are playing a very good team and it is a tough place to come to win. But we have seen that other teams have come away from here with points so everything is possible.

“It’s always important to win and if we can get a victory it’ll be a big achievement. It will give us a lot of confidence to go into the domestic league as well.”

At the same time as looking for a morale-boosting win, Deila might be tempted to give more game time to fringe players such as midfielder Scott Allan – who has yet to start a game for Celtic – but he insists he will “not experiment a lot” with his side.

Deila said: “We will play the team we think is the best. We want to use this game to challenge ourselves against European opponents and we’ll do everything we can to win the game.”