Thomas Rogne faces club fine after reports of contract gripes
Celtic manager Neil Lennon is set to fine Thomas Rogne after the defender was quoted complaining about new contract talks with the Parkhead club.
The 22-year-old’s current deal expires at the end of the season, and although he is free to talk to interested clubs in January, he was reported while on international duty with Norway Under-21s as saying he is loving life at the Parkhead club. However, Rogne, signed by Tony Mowbray in January, 2010 from Stabaek, also reportedly griped about being undervalued.
“I have played when I have been healthy and feel I should be paid like the other players in that category but the deal has been much worse,” he was quoted as saying. “The salary must reflect my value.”
The Celtic manager, speaking at the club’s Lennoxtown training centre as he looked ahead to today’s Clydesdale Bank Premier League clash with St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park, was asked if he had had a word with Rogne and replied: “I have, yes. He feels he was misquoted and he didn’t know what all the fuss was about. He and his advisors are in negotiations at the minute and he wants to stay, but he is going to face a club fine because we don’t want the players talking club business when they are away on international duty. Maybe he wasn’t aware of that but he is now. I want him here, absolutely. And, as I say, talks are on-going at the moment.”
Lennon will have Scott Brown back in the Celtic midfield in Perth after the skipper missed Scotland’s double-header against Serbia and Macedonia with an ongoing hip problem.
While Brown returns for his first SPL start of the season, along with Charlie Mulgrew who has recovered from an Achilles injury, the champions will be without Georgios Samaras who suffered an elbow injury on international duty with Greece.
New signings, strikers Lassad Nouioui and Miku, and goalkeeper Lubos Kamenar, are in contention but defender Efe Ambrose has yet to return from duty with Nigeria. With an eye on Wednesday’s Champions League opener against Benfica at Parkhead, the Northern Irishman said: “I am hoping Scott will be fit for both games. We have tempered his training. He didn’t train yesterday but came through a light session today, so he will definitely start tomorrow and will be in mind for Wednesday. We have to be gauged by Scott and how he is feeling on a day-to-day basis.
“Samaras is not as bad as we first feared. Basically it is ligament damage and hopefully he will be fit for the Spartak Moscow game [on 2 October].
“It’s a bitter blow to lose him, but it is a huge relief [that it wasn’t for longer] and Charlie is good, he is back. It [the campaign] has been a bit disjointed with all the travelling we have had to do, and in between we had a game in Philadelphia, so it feels as if it is really starting now. We have tip-toed through the first four SPL games and now we can set fire to the season.”
Defender Mikael Lustig is trying not to look past St Johnstone to their match against Benfica. He said: “Our focus is to do well at St Johnstone. If we get three points we will be happier going into the Benfica game. But we have to do it domestically first. If we want to play in the Champions League we have to win domestic games, so it is a really important game for us.”
St Johnstone manager Steve Lomas, meanwhile, is hoping there are “not too many” players missing due to a virus.
The Northern Irishman had to cancel the training session at Stirling University on Thursday after seven players were struck down with a bug. Sitting bottom of the SPL with two points from five games, the Perth club do not have their worries to seek.
Lomas, while reluctant to say how many, if any, had recovered, is hoping he will have the majority of his squad available.
“What we hope is that we get no more players taken down tonight,” he said. “Nobody is ruled out yet, but we just have to wait and see. But fingers crossed that there are no more.”
Lomas added: “It is a great game in prospect and I am looking forward to it. They could probably put out three teams that could compete in the SPL, but the boys will also be looking forward to it. You are there to play against the bigger teams and with Rangers out of the league, Celtic are the big scalp.
“We know it is going to be difficult, against whatever team Celtic put out, but if you can’t relish these games you are not in the right profession.”
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Edinburgh
Saturday 25 May 2013
Temperature: 6 C to 17 C
Wind Speed: 13 mph
Wind direction: West
Temperature: 9 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 14 mph
Wind direction: South west