Celtic boss rules out Hibs switch for Scott Allan and Anthony Stokes

Celtic midfielder Scott Allan
Scott Allan joined Celtic from Hibs in the summer

Celtic manager Ronny Deila has dismissed the suggestion that Scott Allan and Anthony Stokes could be sent to Hibernian on loan in January.

Media reports had linked the pair with a move to the side battling Celtic's city rivals, Rangers, for the Scottish Championship title and promotion.

Striker Stokes is out of favour, while midfielder Allan is on the fringes.

"I don't talk about this in the media, but we want to keep our players," Deila said when asked of any approach.

Stokes has not featured for Celtic since August, while Allan has made one start and seven substitute appearances since his summer transfer from Hibs.

Deila said last week that Stokes had indicated his determination to stay at Celtic to fight for his place after a two-week suspension by the Glasgow club following disciplinary problems.

Celtic striker Anthony Stokes in training
Anthony Stokes is back available after a club suspension but remains out of favour

"We will see in the future what happens, but my task is to have Anthony Stokes as good as possible and that's what I want," the manager said of the 27-year-old Republic of Ireland striker whose contract expires in the summer.

Of the possibility of 24-year-old Scotman Allan returning to Easter Road, Deila said: "No chance. He is here in the squad, so why should he go to another club? It is nothing to think about."

Speaking prior to Saturday's visit by Motherwell, Deila also expressed his delight at Leigh Griffiths signing a five-year contract extension last week.

The 25-year-old Scotland striker missed the 2-1 defeat - his third game in a row through injury - and Deila said: "His form has gone very well in the last year, he's a young player still and he has a big part to play at Celtic in the future.

"He has a lot to improve as well, but he is an important player for us and I am very happy to have him on a longer contract."

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