LEIGH GRIFFITHS could return to Celtic Park next month – as a St Mirren player.
The Paisley side are due to face Ange Postecoglou’s men in Glasgow on Wednesday March 2 and boss Jim Goodwin has confirmed the 31-year-old striker is on his list of signing targets.
The Hoops paid up the remaining six months of Griffiths’ contract last month and he is now a free agent after knocking back a deal to stay at Dundee until the end of the season.
The one-time Scotland international hitman, who spent the first half of the campaign on loan at Dens Park, has other options, including offers from League One outfits Falkirk and Queen’s Park.
SOLO APPEARANCE…Leigh Griffiths against West Ham in July – the striker’s only outing at Parkhead this season.
Goodwin has already held talks with Griffiths’ agent but has yet to table a firm offer, but that situation could be hastened if Eamonn Brophy, who damaged ankle ligaments against Motherwell on Tuesday, is out of action for a considerable period.
The Saints gaffer is confident he has the ability to get Griffiths, who netted only three strikes in 17 appearances for struggling Dundee, back among the goals.
Goodwin said: “I’d definitely fancy myself to manage players in the way that would get the best out of them.
“Leigh is a player I’ve admired from afar because he’s always been out of our reach, playing for Celtic and banging in goals for them at the highest level.
“It’s less than five years ago that he was scoring those fantastic free-kicks for Scotland against England.
“Unfortunately, we’d all agree it hasn’t quite worked out for him in the last 12-18 months, but he’s still a good player and one of the most natural goalscorers Scotland have got.
“Look, it’s up to Leigh where he wants to go from now until the end of the season.
“But he’s definitely on my list at the moment, depending on the outcome of Eamonn Brophy’s scan on his ankle.”
GOODBYE, GRIFF…the striker poses with a Dundee shirt shortly after agreeing a season-long loan which was cut short.
Goodwin, speaking to the Daily Record, added: “I think he’s at a good age and that he still has a lot to offer. He needs to get himself fitter and sharper again and I believe he’d be honest enough to admit that himself.
“We could help him with that if we did manage to do some kind of deal.
“Leigh needs to know he’d be playing week in and week out and to be given that opportunity.
“Whether or not we go back into the market depends on the results of the Brophy scan but there aren’t many free agents around better than Leigh.
“I’ve been speaking to his agent but there hasn’t been an offer put in front of Leigh at this moment in time.
“As soon as Eamonn was injured against Motherwell on Tuesday I sat up until two in the morning and went through all the players we have on our database.
“I scoured the market to see who would be available within our price range and Leigh is on that list, which is all I can say at the moment. He’s probably the best one on the list which, logistically, we could make work.”