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Celtic threaten to step in for Hibernian playmaker Scott Allen

By Ronnie Esplin

Ronny Deila has refused to dampen speculation linking Celtic with a move for Hibernian midfielder Scott Allan.

Old Firm rivals Rangers have made three unsuccessful bids for the player, with their Championship rivals adamant that he will not be going to Ibrox.

Asked how close Celtic were to making a firm offer for Allan, the Hoops boss said: "I can't comment on anything until something is done."

Deila, speaking at the club's Lennoxtown training complex to publicise a book about his first season as manager, continued: "I have commented on names before and that wasn't very good.

"He is not our player, so please try to ask about our players."

The Norwegian boss, whose side drew 2-2 with Kilmarnock in the Ladbrokes Premiership at Rugby Park on Wednesday night, was asked if he was looking to add to his midfield, an already strong part of the side.

"Celtic are after good football players all the time," he said.

"We are looking all over the world to get players that can get us to a high level and hopefully we will sign players in the window which will makes us even better."

The agent of Brandon Mechele was quoted as saying Celtic are interested in the 22-year-old Club Brugge centre-back, but Deila said: "Again, it is a name and I don't comment."

Deila is confident that skipper Scott Brown, who has missed the last two games with a hamstring injury, will be back for the first leg of the Champions League play-off against Swedish side Malmo at Celtic Park next Wednesday night, which follows the visit of Inverness tomorrow.

The former Stromsgodset boss, however, believes the loss of the Scotland captain is not as detrimental to his team as it would have been last season.

He said: "Scott was stiff in his hamstring after the Qarabag game. He is moving forward all the time and is going to do everything he can to get ready, maybe for Saturday, and hopefully Wednesday.

"I am quite confident that will be good. I am not really worried about Wednesday.

"I think we have played some good football without Scott. We are much more ready to play without him now than last season.

"He is a very important player for us but I am not so worried as I was last year when we lost our captain."

Meanwhile, the Parkhead club have announced that Kieran Tierney has signed a new four-year deal.

The 18-year-old made his debut as a substitute against Dundee in April with his third appearance coming on the opening day of the season against Ross County at Parkhead, where the league flag was unfurled.

The Celtic youth academy graduate told the club's official website: "I'm delighted. I have been here 11 years already so to get a good contract for another few years at least is fantastic, and I'm happy to commit my future to the club I love.

"Near the end of the season I played two games and then starting on flag day in front of a big crowd was a dream.

"If you had told me at this point last season that I would be starting on the next flag day, I would have laughed at you."

Belfast Telegraph


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