FRASER FORSTER’S chances of a return to Celtic are diminishing the longer the transfer saga is drawn out.

Neil Lennon is prepared to end the pursuit and switch his focus elsewhere as he attempts to strengthen his No.1 position while preparing his troops for what he terms a “monumental” campaign.

The Hoops boss has not given up yet on the towering keeper who was so impressive during his season-long loan period from Southampton last time out and once again cemented his place in the affection of the club’s followers.

However, what was thought to be a formality with the six times-capped England international coming back for at least another temporary switch as the team bid for the historic 10, has hit unforeseen obstacles.

Former Hoops star David Marshall, who is currently at cash-stricken Wigan, and Joe Hart, who has just been released by Burnley, are just two names who have been linked with the Parkhead outfit.

Lennon, speaking to the Daily Record, said: “We’re disappointed with the Fraser issue. We’re talking to a couple of representatives of a couple of goalkeepers, so, hopefully, we’ll have good news sooner rather than later on that.

“It’s kind of bizarre the way it’s panned out. The impression we got at the end was that he wanted to stay at Southampton and fight for his place, which, again, is the player’s prerogative.

“We were then led to believe something else. There’s no more movement on it at the minute.

“We can’t keep leaving the door open. We have to make decisions. If it was to reverse tomorrow we’d go: ‘Yeah, on you come,’ but we’re not getting any indication of that happening.”

Lennon started the 1-1 draw with Nice on Thursday with Scott Bain in goal with Northern Ireland netminder Conor Hazard coming on as a second-half substitute.

Craig Gordon, of course, knocked back the offer of a contract extension at the start of last month to agree a two-year deal to rejoin Hearts.

Lennon commented: “Craig made a decision. Not financially, he wanted to play more football and that was something we couldn’t guarantee him here.

“But we still wanted to have him around because he was a great professional, but the reason we made that decision was for his benefit.”

*DON’T miss the unbeatable match report from Lyon v Celtic this evening – only in your champion CQN. 

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