CELTIC’S hopes of persuading Jason Denayer to agree another season-long loan deal from Manchester City are in jeopardy.
Vincent Kompany’s injury problems are worrying Etihad boss Manuel Pellegrini who could be without the team captain for the run-in to the season.
Denayer’s fellow-Belgian will miss today’s game against West Ham and is likely to sit out the remaining six matches after limping out of last week’s defeat from Manchester United at Old Trafford.
Pellegrini admitted: “He has a muscle injury and we do not know if he will be fit from now until the end of the season.”
There is no chance of Denayer being available for any of the Hoops’ Champions League qualifiers – if, of course, they win the Premiership title.
The 19-year-old central defender, who won the SPFL Young Player of the Month for March, is wanted by City for pre-season assessment as the club finalise their first team squad for the new campaign.
Even if there is the opportunity of a return to Parkhead, it would not happen in time for the first qualifier on July 16.
Ronny Deila said: “City want Jason back for pre-season to see what kind of level he is at. They want to get the group together and maybe he will be loaned out again or he will stay. That is up to Jason and the manager.”
However, with concerns growing about Kompany’s long-term fitness, it is virtually certain there will be no release for Denayer, who made his full Belgian international debut last month against Israel.
Celtic have a list of central defenders who could be signed as a replacement for the Belgian teenager, including the Hearts skipper Danny Wilson.