CELTIC could be without the services of Odsonne Edouard next summer – even if he is still at Parkhead.

The 22-year-old striker is being lined up to lead France in their Olympic bid which would mean him missing the Hoops’ Champions League qualifiers.

Edouard was in the headlines in his homeland again during the week for his goalscoring exploits for the nation’s youngsters when he netted a double in their 3-1 victory over Switzerland in Caen to fire them into next year’s European Under-21 Championships while lifting his strike tally to an impressive 16 in 10 games.

The Finals are due to be completed in June and Edouard, who cost Celtic a club record £9million when he joined from Paris Saint-Germain in June 2018, is being earmarked for a leading role with the Under-23 group heading to the Tokyo Games, according to a report in the Daily Record.

The delayed Olympics have been pencilled in for July 23 to August 8 – smack in the middle of the planned dates for the Euro qualifiers and, barring a disaster, Neil Lennon’s men will be involved in the fight for a Champions League group place at that stage.

Edouard, who is under contract until June 2022, was at the centre of intense transfer speculation in the pre-season and has struggled for form on the club front to such an extent he is no longer a first pick for the manager.

He has scored a mere six goals and was on the substitutes’ bench with Albian Ajeti leading the line against Motherwell at Fir Park before the international break where Mohamed Elyounoussi grabbed a hat-trick in the 4-1 win.

There are no guarantees fans’ favourite Edouard will get the nod to start the crucial Premiership encounter against Hibs at Easter Road on Saturday.


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