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CELTIC AND NISBET: KENNEDY SPEAKS

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KEVIN NISBET is among a landslide of players linked with Celtic with a massive summer upheaval on the horizon.

The 24-year-old striker, who joined Hibs in a £250,000 deal from Dunfermline in the pre-season, has seen his value rocket into the £2.5million bracket with an impressive campaign with the Edinburgh outfit.

And the Glaswegian will get the opportunity to show just far he has come in such a short space of time when he lines up against the Hoops at Easter Road this afternoon as the curtain comes down on a miserable term for the fallen champions.

John Kennedy, who has been in charge since Neil Lennon departed in February, revealed the club’s recruitment department has been working overtime on assembling a list of targets, despite the fact the expected arrival of Eddie Howe has yet to be rubber-stamped.

Asked if Nisbet could be on the Hoops’ radar, the stand-in gaffer, speaking to the Daily Record, answered: “It’s a bit disrespectful to talk about another team’s players. I don’t know what the new manager will want, but certainly in terms of the players being from our league, it’s always the first place you start to see what’s available.

“Everyone in this league will be covered. We will know who could potentially be capable of coming to Celtic and who is not.

“Kevin Nisbet has had a good season. Jack Ross has done a terrific job with him, as well. We will respect that, but again it will be the new manager’s decision.”

Birmingham City were snubbed when they made enquiries for the former Partick Thistle and Raith Rovers attacker who agreed a four-year deal when he joined Hibs last summer.

Question marks also hang over Leigh Griffiths’ future at the Parkhead club after three dismal years for the Scotland international forward.

The Hoops hierarchy have yet to decide whether to activate a 12-month option on the contract of the 30-year-old frontman.

Kennedy added: “Leigh will speak to the club on that. There’s not an actual definitive date on it yet. It’s not this weekend. It will be addressed when the new manager comes in.”

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

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