NEIL LENNON insists there will be no emergency player clear-out – even if Celtic fail to overcome Sarajevo in the Europa League play-off in Bosnia tonight.
The Hoops could miss out on the welcome financial boost of the group stages in the tournament after missing out on the £30million-plus on offer in the Champions League after the failure against Ferencvaros who have gone all the way in the elite competition.
The Europa League could offer the Parkhead club as much as £10million in prize money which would be more than acceptable in these difficult times with fans still locked out of grounds due to coronavirus pandemic restrictions.
Lennon has seen players such as Odsonne Edouard, Ryan Christie, Kristoffer Ajer and Olivier Ntcham linked with clubs at home and abroad as the clock ticks down on the transfer window which will close on Monday.
The Irishman, though, admits he expects his pool of players to remain intact for the historic bid for the tenth successive title, irrespective of what happens tonight.
Asked if defeat against the Bosnians could cost him one of his best players, Lennon, speaking to the Daily Record, answered: “I wouldn’t have thought so.
“We want to keep the squad and we’ve been pretty strong on that. We don’t want anyone to leave. If that means we have to dig our heels in, then so be it.
“But we’re quite strong on that. I’ve had no indication that I’ll have to sell a player.
“Reaching the group stages would be really important and would put us on a really decent financial footing.
“The money is a by-product of the game. We’ve not really given it that much thought. I just want us to get through and play well and we’ll have to.
“We want to build on the weekend performance and come away with a good win. We’re going to have to play strongly and be concentrated at set-plays.
“If we can do that, we believe we’ve got the fire power to win the game.”
* DON’T miss the unbeatable match report from Sarajevo v Celtic this evening – only in your champion CQN.