PETER LAWWELL admits Celtic did not achieve their transfer ambitions in the January window as the champions attempted to strengthen the squad.

Brendan Rodgers’ recruitment was limited to only two new faces – Nicolas Kuhn, the German winger who cost £3million from Rapid Vienna, and Republic of Ireland international striker Adam Idah, who joined on deadline day on a short-term loan from Norwich City.

However, the Parkhead chairman insisted the Hoops had attempted to spend in attracting additions only to hit brick walls with other clubs refusing to sell their prize assets.

IT TAKES TWO…chairman Peter Lawwell and chief executive Michael Nicholson take in the action at Easter Road earlier this season

Lawwell said: “The board’s commitment is to strengthen and improve the playing squad in every transfer window and although resources were available, we were unable to further add to the squad due to the unavailability of identified targets.

“This was disappointing to us all, and never the intention.

“The January transfer window is notoriously difficult as clubs are very reluctant to let their best players go at such a crucial time of the season just as we are.

“Indeed, we resisted strong interest in our players from other clubs.”

No names were mentioned, but playmaker Matt O’Riley was a reported target for Atletico Madrid. Celtic, though, had no intention of selling the in-form Danish international at such a crucial stage of the campaign.

Lawwell was responding to recent criticism from supporters while the Parkhead club announced bumper mid-season financial results with revenues up to £85million and £67million in the champions’ coffers, as reported on the club website.

WELCOME TO CELTIC…£3million winger Nicolas Kuhn was the champions’ only purchase in January.

The Hoop supremo revealed the club Celts had spent £23million since last summer amid major investment in the new Barrowfield training complex and the first team’s Lennoxtown HQ.

Lawwell continued: “The board recognises the inherent inefficiencies of holding excess cash, and, in conjunction with other cash commitments, the importance of investing in strengthening the team to deliver football success.

“The board shares the frustrations of the supporters regarding the less than anticipated activity in the recent transfer window.

“Since the opening of the transfer window in June, we have committed £23.9million in player investment.

“Within this, we renewed and extended the contracts of Cameron Carter-Vickers, Liel Abada, Matt O’Riley, Anthony Ralston and Reo Hatate.”

Lawwell added: “Looking towards the year ahead, winning the Premiership and the Scottish Cup is our immediate focus and priority.
“There remains a long way to go and all to play for. We will all unite behind the team.”
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