Celtic eye move for Shon Weissman with Leigh Griffiths’ future unclear

Champions again linked with Israeli forward as Scotland striker excluded from squad for France trip

Shon Weissman scored 37 goals in 40 appearances for Wolfsberger last season. Picture: Paolo Bruno/Getty Images

Celtic are poised to step up their interest in Israeli striker Shon Weissman amid fresh doubts over the status of Leigh Griffiths at the club.

Scotland international Griffiths has been excluded from the Celtic squad as they intensify their preparations for the new season, having been deemed as lacking in sufficient fitness levels on his return to training after lockdown.

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Griffiths did not travel to Celtic’s pre-season camp at Loughborough University last week and manager Neil Lennon has also decided to omit him from the party which will travel to France this week for friendlies against Nice, Lyon and Paris Saint-Germain.

The 29-year-old will stay behind to work on an individual fitness programme at the Scottish champions’ Lennoxtown base.

After being sidelined for seven months last year while he addressed mental health issues, Griffiths appeared to have revived his Celtic career at the end of the curtailed 2019-20 season when he scored eight goals in 13 appearances.

But Lennon’s unhappiness with Griffiths’ current physical condition has once again raised question marks over his future.

As Celtic look to bolster their striking options for the new campaign, they have again been strongly linked with a move for Israeli international Weissman who scored a remarkable 37 goals in 40 appearances for Austrian side Wolfsberger last season.

Dietmar Riegler, president of Wolfsberger, claims Celtic are among a number of clubs who have made an offer for the 24-year-old who has a year left on his contract.

Sources at Celtic insist no formal approach has been made for Weissman but that situation could change in the coming days. Lokomotiv Moscow are also keen on the former Maccabi Haifa player, although Reigler also anticipates interest in his prize asset from German Bundesliga clubs.

“As you already know, he wants to go to Germany or England,” said Riegler. “But we’ve not yet had any inquiries from there. Offers have come, amongst others, from Russia and Scotland, from Glasgow Celtic.

“Because of the Corona crisis, everything is different this year. The seasons in Germany have now ended. The clubs know where they will play in the coming season. I think the next few days will be interesting for Shon.”

Odsonne Edouard remains Celtic’s No 1 striker but Lennon will also give Vakoun Bayo and Patryk Klimala opportunities to stake their claims for more regular first-team action when they feature in the forthcoming friendlies against Ligue 1 opponents.

Ivory Coast international Bayo and Polish front man Klimala have both struggled to make an impact so far. But Klimala, in particular, has impressed Lennon in the early stages of pre-season training.

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