After unveiling Teemu Pukki, his new £3 million Finnish striker, Neil Lennon was last night facing resistance in his attempts to add further names to his Celtic squad and had three bids for Peterborough’s attacking midfielder Lee Tomlin rejected.
The Celtic manager was also in talks with Manchester United to bring Dutch left-back Alexander Buttner to Celtic Park in a loan deal, although United were understood to be reluctant to let Buttner go until they do a deal to sign Leighton Baines from Everton.
Lennon said there was the chance of another “one or two” arriving to bolster his squad. But one player who is probably on his way out – if only on loan – is Tony Watt, who was in talks with the Belgian side, Lierse.
Lennon rates Tomlin highly. “I’ve been looking at him for quite a while. I’ve seen him play midfield and off the striker but I’d like to see him more through the middle. He’s an intelligent player, a big build. He’s a very, very good player.”.
Tomlin, 24, has already scored six goals for Peterborough this season including a hat-trick in the Capital One Cup against Reading last week.
However, Celtic’s interest has not been welcomed by Peterborough manager Darren Ferguson. “The third bid arrived during the game,” he told the Peterborough Telegraph. “If that’s how Celtic want to do
business that’s up to them but it didn’t do Lee any favours. I’m not angry at Celtic, I’m just stating the facts and people can make their own minds up about what’s gone on.”
During a frantic day’s activity, there was a rumour at one point that Emilio Izaguirre was the subject of interest from Everton. Izaguirre seemed to add weight to the speculation in the wake of Celtic’s victory against Dundee United yesterday when flinging his jersey into the crowd in the manner of a player who might have being saying goodbye.
When asked, Lennon totally rejected the story that Izaguirre might be leaving the club. “He’s going nowhere,” he said, categorically.
Agent Aleksander Bursac, who represents Buttner, was enthusiastic about his player joining Celtic. “We feel it would greatly help the boy’s development to be playing regularly at that level and in European football. Celtic are a really great club. They have been back and forward in dialogue with Manchester United. It’s in their hands now as we are not sure if they want to release him.”
Watt looked set to move abroad, although there was a suggestion last night that Aberdeen were also in for the Celtic striker for a longer deal. “It’s looking like Belgium,” said
Lennon. “We’re trying to get him out to play. He needs some football.”