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Neil Lennon blasts 'highly disrespectful' speculation over Celtic's next manager

Boss calls rumours 'highly disrespectful' as he bids to strengthen

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Main mission: Neil Lennon is desperate to return to winning ways with Celtic after a challenging period of results

Main mission: Neil Lennon is desperate to return to winning ways with Celtic after a challenging period of results

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Main mission: Neil Lennon is desperate to return to winning ways with Celtic after a challenging period of results

Neil Lennon described speculation about who will be the next Celtic manager as "highly disrespectful" as he revealed plans to bolster his squad before the window closes.

The reigning champions have fallen 23 points behind Old Firm rivals Rangers at the top of the Scottish Premiership, albeit with three games in hand.

With Celtic's quest for 10 in a row in some disarray, Lennon's position has come under increasing scrutiny and figures such as Rafael Benitez, Eddie Howe, Roy Keane and Frank Lampard are among a number of names linked to the Parkhead hot seat.

However, the current incumbent, speaking ahead of tonight's visit of Hamilton, said: "It is highly disrespectful, but a lot of managers go through the same things. I don't think it is right, I don't think there is any foundation to it either so I just ignore it.

"I speak to Peter (Lawwell, chief executive) more or less every day about club duties, about the team, the transfer window, so I am just carrying on as normal. We are looking to bring players in.

"We are looking at a number of positions, a number of options, and we think we are way down the line with one or two deals, so hopefully we will have something in the next few days.

"I don't know if we will be spending money, we're just maybe looking into one or two players on loan until the end of the season, bargains that we feel could be value for money and could make us better."

Celtic have gone four games without a win and Lennon is looking to get back on track against bottom side Accies.

He said: "We haven't won in the last four games so it is really important that we get back to winning ways. We want to finish the season as strongly as we can.

"We still have a bit to do in the league and we also have a cup to defend as well."

Meanwhile, Lennon revealed Jeremie Frimpong looks to be on his way out of Celtic after the club received "a robust offer" for the full-back.

The Hoops boss would not confirm the club which is set to land the 20-year-old Dutch defender, who signed for the Scottish champions from Manchester City for £300,000 in 2019.

However, he did confirm Frimpong was abroad negotiating a move from the Parkhead club.

Lennon said: "Jeremie is abroad at the minute speaking to a club. That deal looks like it may go through. This hasn't appeared in the last couple of days, this has been in the background for the last six or seven weeks.

"The club have made great strides to renegotiate with Jeremie and his representatives but the player made it clear that he wanted to leave.

"I wouldn't say he was unhappy, just ambitious maybe or he wanted to try something else to progress his career at another club.

"We got a really robust offer from a club for Jeremie and the club felt it was good business. We do as well from a football side of things, and when the player makes it clear he would prefer to play his football elsewhere, that was a decision we all agreed to take.

"That's football sometimes, when a player makes it clear that he would prefer to go elsewhere then you have to look at it and think, 'Is this the right thing to do? Is this the right sort of deal for us?' It ticks all the boxes."

Celtic v Hamilton academical

Tonight, Celtic Park, 7.45pm

Belfast Telegraph


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