FROZEN-OUT Celtic striker Leigh Griffiths has emerged as a shock target for Sunderland.
The former Scotland international, who will be 31 next month, is in soccer limbo after being sent home from Ange Postecoglou’s training camp in Wales earlier this month.
It had been claimed dad-of-five Griffiths had sent inappropriate messages to two teenage girls although he has subsequently been cleared by police of any offence.
However, he has yet to kick a ball for the Hoops and has been AWOL for the warm-up games against Sheffield Wednesday (3-1), Charlton (2-1) and Bristol City (0-0) while he was nowhere to be seen as Postecoglou saw his team lose 1-0 to Preston at Parkhead yesterday.
Wearside gaffer Lee Johnston, who saw his top scorer Charlie Wyke move to Wigan recently, has now set his sights on Griffiths, according to a report in the Scottish Sun on Sunday.
The frontman, whose form has dipped alarmingly with only 25 goals in the past three years, appeared to be heading for the exit until Postecoglou activated the remaining 12 months of his contract to throw him a lifeline.
But it could be there is no place in the new manager’s plans, especially since the completion of the £4.5million deal to bring Japanese international striker Kyogo Furuhashi to the club on a four-year deal.
As CQN reported during the week, Postecoglou admitted he hadn’t given Griffiths a second thought as he planned ahead for the new campaign.
He said: “You know how much time I have spent thinking about that? You’ve asked me and I’ve just thought about it.
“We’ll let it run its course and once it’s done and we get back up to Scotland then we’ll deal with it then.
“I’ve not spoken to him.”