'Alert and agile' - Celtic not ruling out a sixth new January signing

Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou won’t close the door on adding a sixth new face to his squad in the closing days of the transfer window.

Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou.
Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou.

Midfelder Matt O’Riley became the club’s fifth arrival in January on completing a £1.5million deal from MK Dons on Thursday. His acquisition came as a surprise following the Australian’s intimation the previous week that any links to signings would be fabrication subsequent to the collapse of a move for Riley McGree, which followed the acquisitions of Japanese trio Reo Hatate, Daizen Maeda, Yosuke Ideguchi and Johnny Kenny early in the month. Now the Celtic manager is refusing to make any hard and fast statements on whether his augmentation of his squad is concluded for the time being.

“There is nothing in the pipeline,” he said. “We aren't talking to anyone at the moment. But there are still ten days to go and we just have to stay alert and agile. I am just keeping Michael [Nicholson, Celtic chief executive] on his toes…Until the transfer window closes, I won't rule anything out.”

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Postecoglou appeared to rule in the reappearance in his team of a player he has previously said would be like a new signing for the club’s Scottish Cup tie away to Alloa on Saturday evening. Christopher Jullien has not featured for Celtic in 13 months following knee ligament damage but, even with the artificial surface at the Indodrill Stadium, the 56-year-old is looking to end the French central defender’s horrendous period on the sidelines.

"Chris has trained and is available,” said the Celtic manager, who revealed O’Riley will not be eligible for Alloa as the club await his clearance to come through. “I haven't made a decision on the starting line-up yet but there is a good chance he [Jullien] will be involved. Of course the pitch is a factor that we have to think about.

"But in terms of Chris himself, he's been training well since the restart and doing everything with the team. He is obviously not ready to play 90 minutes at the level he wants to, more than anything else, but he will get in over the next few weeks. There is a good chance he will be involved against Alloa."

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