LEIGH GRIFFITHS may be thrown a lifeline by Neil Lennon ahead of Celtic’s Scottish Cup-tie against Partick Thistle at Firhill this evening.
The £3.5million arrival of Polish striker Patryk Klimala triggered speculation the 29-year-old Scotland international could be put up for grabs in a loan move.
Griffiths has struggled for over a year with personal issues, injuries and loss of form and confidence while scoring only three goals during a painful episode in his career.
But the Hoops boss has dismissed reports the player was heading for the exit and insisted Griffiths still has a role to play for the champions in the second half of a crucial campaign where they are going for nine in a row while attempting to make an impact on the Europa League.
Lennon, speaking to the Evening Times, said: “Everybody is speculating about Griff at the moment, but we aren’t in any real rush to look at that. We want him to play.
“He had a good week in Dubai and has been training well. So, Griff may start against Partick and I think he’d like to stay. He’s never made any intention that he would want to leave.
“He had a good week, like I say, and I think most of them would have got the benefit of a good week in Dubai and the break after the last game.
“They are all just itching to get back into it now.”
It is more likely that fellow-frontman Vakoun Issouf Bayo would be the one to go on a temporary transfer,as CQN reported during the week.
Lennon added: “I’m not going to talk about players leaving or coming in, but Bayo has had a couple of long-term injuries and not really had the opportunity to show what he can do, so we’ll see on that one.”
* DON’T miss the unbeatable match report and best action images from Partick Thistle v Celtic at Firhill tonight – only in your champion CQN.