Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 3 September 2014

Celtic boss Lennon sets sights on Murphy and Juarez

Neil Lennon

Celtic manager Neil Lennon has revealed he is close to signing Sunderland striker Daryl Murphy.

The Hoops boss hopes the deal will be concluded shortly, and if so, the 27-year-old could even join up with the rest of the squad on Celtic's tour of North America.

The capture of Mexico international Efrain Juarez from UNAM Pumas also looks imminent.

“Juarez is pretty close, “ Lennon said. “We think we're pretty close with Murphy as well. He's quick, he's six foot two, and I've watched him a lot for a few years now.

“I think he'd do all right, he could take the hits for us up here.”

While Lennon was preparing to welcome new faces into his squad ahead of the start of new season, the club paid tribute to Artur Boruc, following his move to Fiorentina. The 30-year-old goalkeeper has quit Parkhead after five years to pen a two-year deal with the Italian club.

Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell said: “It was clear that, after five years with Celtic, Artur wished to pursue a fresh challenge. During his time at Celtic, he has been a magnificent servant to the club and, without any question, he is one of the finest goalkeepers ever to play in Scotland.

“Indeed, he has been one of Europe's top keepers.

“A true character, a passionate man, and a real Celtic supporter, he has been part of some memorable occasions, and has been instrumental in the successes which the club has enjoyed.”

Meanwhile, the manager has not shut the door on a deal for Hull City midfielder Jimmy Bullard, despite expressing frustration with the demands of some modern-day players.

Bullard’s loan move collapsed after the midfielder demanded money on top of his City wages, which reportedly would have taken his weekly income to £75,000.

Speaking generally, Lennon said: “We all played for the love of the game. But then all these outside influences come on board.

“I can understand people wanting to secure their futures, of course I do, but how much money can you earn?

“Everything was agreed with Hull, and he wanted a bit more. But the door is still open for Jimmy if he wants to reconsider.”

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