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LENNY GETS TRANSFER DEADLINE

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NEIL LENNON has over two and a half months to strengthen his Celtic squad for the 2020/21 season.

FIFA have granted the SFA permission to open the transfer window from today and it will run until midnight on October 5.

Last summer’s pre-season closed on September 2 when the Hoops boss brought in Scotland international left-back Greg Taylor from Kilmarnock for £2.25million while snapping up Jeremie Frimpong, from Manchester City, and Lee O’Connor, from Manchester United.

So far, Lennon’s only addition has been Mohamed Elyououssi on a second successive one-year loan switch from Southampton.

However, the Irishman has seen Craig Gordon, Jozo Simunovic, Jonny Hayes and Calvin Miller leave at the end of their contracts, Jack Hendry has agreed a season-long loan with Belgian side KVV Oostende, as CQN reported yesterday, while Fraser Forster, Moritz Bauer and Daniel Arzani have returned to parent clubs Southampton. Stoke City and Manchester City respectively.

Lennon, of course, is still hoping the towering six times-capped England international keeper will be back in place for the tilt at the historic 10 in a row bid.

Qualification for the lucrative Champions League group stages is crucial after missing out in the last two campaigns to AEK Athens and Cluj.

If the Hoops can once again take their place among Europe’s elite, it will loosen the purse strings at Parkhead and that will allow Lennon to bring in one or two quality performers.

On the rubber-stamping of the transfer dates, an SFA and SPFL joint statement read: “The Joint Response Group has been examining the optimum summer transfer window for Scottish football clubs, with consideration to the impact of COVID-19 on domestic and international movement of players.

“A request submitted by the Scottish FA to open the transfer window from today (Tuesday, 14 July) until midnight on Monday, 5 October has now been approved by FIFA.

“In arriving at the recommendation the JRG’s Regulation Sub-Group took into account the following circumstances:

*”FIFA has confirmed that the summer transfer window cannot exceed 12 weeks. The staggered start dates to SPFL competitions and the need to try to strike an appropriate balance to allow all clubs to prepare for the new season.

*”MD1 of the Betfred Cup is scheduled for Tuesday, 6 October.

*”The recommendation from the European Leagues and UEFA that European associations close their transfer windows on 5 October.

* “That the SPFL Board has approved, subject to approving the Regulations, amended loan principles for the coming season which extend the existing October Loan Window for League One and Two Clubs to also cover Championship clubs.

*”Alignment, so far as possible, with other leagues and associations.

“FIFA has also confirmed that the first registration period for Scottish Women’s Football will be from Wednesday, 15 July until Tuesday October 6.”

The nine-in-a-row champions will kick off their bid for history on Sunday, August 2 against Hamilton Accies at Parkhead.

 
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