SEVEN Celtic players will be on international duty before reporting back for pre-season training next month.
Charlie Mulgrew is the lone Hoops player called up by Scotland boss Gordon Strachan for the friendlies against Italy in Malta on May 29 and France in Metz on June 4.
Mikael Lustig is preparing for the Euro Championship Finals with Sweden and is likely to be involved in the pre-tournament warm-ups against Slovenia on May 30 and Wales on June 5.
The action in France for the Swedes gets underway with a game against Martin O’Neill’s Republic of Ireland at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis on June 13. They also have fixtures against Italy in Toulouse four days later and round off Group E against Belgium in Nice on June 22.
Dedryck Boyata, who missed the champions’ run-in to the season through injury, has been included in the Belgian squad, but could miss out when it is trimmed back for the finals.
Belgium have games lined up against Switzerland (May 28), Finland (June 1) and Norway (June 5).
Stefan Johansen could be involved in the rehearsal against Marc Wilmots’ side while the Norwegians will also play Portugal (May 29) and Iceland (June 1).
Tom Rogic will join up with Australia for their game against England at Wembley on May 27 and the double-header with Greece on June 4 and 7.
Nir Bitton is poised to turn out for Israel in their challenge game against Serbia on May 31 while striker Colin Kazim-Richards was included in the Turkish squad for the meetings with England on Sunday, Montenegro (May 29) and Slovenia (June 5).
Meanwhile Kris Commons had minor surgery yesterday on a problematic back problem that has hampered him throughout the season.
There was plenty of speculation around his omission from recent Celtic sides, with the focus being on an apparent rift between the player and Celtic’s former manager Ronny Deila. The news that Commons has gone under the knife puts that theory to bed.
Commons scored nine goals last season, with only Tom Rogic joining Leigh Griffiths in reaching double figures. Griffiths scored his 40th goal of the season last midweek at Perth whereas Rogic reach double figures with his tap in on Sunday.
A Kris Commons knocking in 20 odd goals next season would be very welcome indeed for the new Celtic manager.
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