Celtic manager Neil Lennon cautious on transfer moves

By Alasdair LamontBBC Scotland

Celtic manager Neil Lennon has expressed his dislike of the transfer window system and his preference for a return to an open market.

Lennon says the club have four or five options they are pursuing this month.

But he says it is too early to say whether any will join the club, adding that he gets bored by the barrage of transfer-related questions.

"If you can get a player we feel is value for money and makes us better, we'll try and pursue that," he said.

One of Lennon's squad - defender Thomas Rogne - said on Thursday he felt the current group was good enough without the addition of any January signings.

The manager agreed, saying: "I think we've got a good squad, but if there's an opportunity to strengthen it, we'll look to do that.

"January's always a difficult time to do that. Clubs want to hold on to their better players and negotiations can be difficult, but we're still looking.

"I don't like it (the transfer window). I think we should go back to having an open market throughout the season.

"You have to do all your business in a short period of time and it's very difficult to do that.

"I get bored with the same repetitive questions, speculating on players coming in and going out.

"I can only reiterate that I don't want to sell any of my players and if I can add one or two to the squad I will."

Celtic were criticised during Gordon Strachan's final season in charge for not strengthening their squad in January, with Rangers going on to win the Scottish Premier League that season.

Steven Fletcher, now of Wolves, was linked with a move to Celtic Park at the time - a transfer that never materialised.

"People were saying if we'd bought Fletcher we'd have won the league, but there was no guarantee of that," added Lennon.

"At the time, there was no deal to be done because Hibs wouldn't do business with us."

Celtic currently have the former PSV Eindhoven midfielder, Rabiu Ibrahim, and the Icelandic winger, Ingolfur Sigurdsson, on trial.

No decision has been taken over their potential future at the club, though Lennon added: "We've been impressed by both of them."

However, Lennon, who brought in the seldom-used Freddie Ljungberg this time last year, said any additions this season would not be to make up the numbers.

"Kris Commons was a player last year we felt could make us better. We felt it was good business and it turned out to be the case," he continued.

"However, you don't always guarantee they're going to have the impact Kris made."

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