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Neil Lennon confirms Celtic interest in Sunderland striker Steven Fletcher

RONNIE ESPLIN

Neil Lennon would be interested if Sunderland striker Steven Fletcher was offered to Celtic but insists there has been no contact between the two clubs.

Reports yesterday morning linked the Hoops with the 26-year-old Scotland international, who is said to be available at around half the £12m he cost the Black Cats when he moved there from Wolves in 2012.

At his pre-match press conference ahead of the Scottish Premiership clash with St Mirren in Paisley tomorrow, when the Parkhead boss was asked if £6m was beyond Celtic, he replied: "No, but people are quoting £6m, but he (Fletcher) was bought for £12m.

"I know transfer fees change over the years, but he is a youngish player still so I would imagine it might not be £6m we are talking about.

"He is a player that I think most teams in Britain would like but affordability might be a problem for us though.

"Could we afford to spend £6m for one player? Yes, we could."

Asked if there had been contact between the clubs, the Northern Irishman said: "No, not at all. It is speculation. I don't know where this story has come from, I honestly don't.

"I don't know why I am sitting here five minutes into my press conference answering questions on him."

However, when asked if he would be interested if Fletcher was put to him, the former Celtic skipper said "yes" before addressing the possibility of any new signings breaking the club wage structure.

He said: "I don't know, you would have to ask the board that but if we are going to bring in a big-name player then wages will obviously have to come into mind when negotiating.

"I wouldn't imagine we would break it by a lot if we were going to do that."

Lennon, however, was again keen to stress his desire to get a new face as soon as possible.

"What we want to do is sign players for the future, for the second half of the season and obviously with the qualifiers in mind for next year," he said.

"I think the squad needs an injection of fresh blood.

"We are in a position where we can spend a bit of money.

"It is a position we probably haven't been in for quite a considerable time, a position as strong as this."

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