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Neil Lennon hits out at agents as teenage star Feruz quits Celtic

By Ronnie Esplin

Neil Lennon has revealed his disappointment with youngster Islam Feruz's decision to leave Celtic.

The Parkhead boss voiced his concerns over the way agents have influenced the 16-year-old Somalian-born Scotland youth international.

The club helped Feruz's asylum-seeking family to remain in Glasgow, but he has turned his back on Celtic and is expected to join Chelsea.

Lennon admits he is still upset at losing the highly-rated forward, whom he had lined up to train with the first-team this season.

"Celtic have looked after Islam and his family very well, but it's obvious his head has been turned," he said.

"Peter Lawwell (chief executive) and I met with Islam's representatives - and I use that term loosely - but there was no going back on their part.

"We've done all we can to keep him, but I haven't seen him since the start of pre-season training.

"We took him and his family out of what you might call a rough estate and put them into a nice flat in the West End of Glasgow.

"We did all we could to make life here as easy as possible for him. We even had him training with the first-team for the final few months of last season.

"Islam was going along very nicely with us and had a good agent in John Colquhoun. Then he boy let somebody take over his future. His attitude changed dramatically and his attitude towards the club changed dramatically. Yet our club had been so good to him."

Meanwhile, Lennon's assistant Johan Mjallby admits the Celtic defence have to cut out the mistakes which blighted their 2-0 win over Inverness on Saturday if they are to have a chance against Udinese in their Europa League clash tomorrow night.

Midfielders Joe Ledley and James Forrest scored the goals in the Scottish Premier League win, but the below-par performances of goalkeeper Fraser Forster, and central defensive duo Daniel Majstorovic and Glenn Loovens, was the main talking point among many Hoops supporters.

"We can't make mistakes like on Saturday when we play Udinese because, no disrespect to Inverness, Udinese is full of high-quality footballers," said Mjallby.

Belfast Telegraph

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