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‘STRUGGLING’: WHY EDOUARD MISSED LIVI CLASH

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ODSONNE EDOUARD told Celtic boss Neil Lennon he did not feel fit enough to play against Livingston yesterday.

The French striker was an unsused substitute as the champions overcame Gary Holt’s stuffy West Lothian outfit 3-2 to go back to the top of the Premiership.

Edouard, who has been at the centre of transfer speculation throughout the summer, sat it out, but the Hoops boss is adamant the club’s talisman is NOT going anywhere.

It was left to Callum McGregor, Ryan Christie and Albian Ajeti to claim the goals that saw the team clear a tricky hurdle.

However, Lennon expects Edouard, who still has two years to run on his contract, to return to action on Thursday night when they travel to Latvia to take on Riga in the Europa League qualifier.

The Parkhead gaffer confirmed that the club have no concrete enquiries for the 22-year-old forward who cost £9million when he arrived from Paris Saint-Germain in June 2018.

The fans’ favourite looked lacklustre in the 2-1 victory over St Mirren in Paisley in midweek, squandered a penalty-kick and was replaced with 10 minutes still to play.

Lennon, speaking to the Sunday Mail, said: “Odsonne was away with France Under-21s, having missed two games for us.

“He played for France, then for us on Saturday and Wednesday.

“I spoke to him on Friday and he said he was struggling to start the game, so you have to look after the player. We have a duty of care to him.

“We’ve got him fresh for Thursday which is a very important game for us and Hibs next week.”

Lennon added: “We do not want to sell. We have had no bids or confirmed interest in him.

“I am hoping that by the end of the window he will still be a Celtic player. He’s a great kid, his attitude has been absolutely fine.

“He is not causing any problems behind the scenes, as far as I’m aware.

“He was honest enough to say he wasn’t fit enough to start and I have to take his word on that.

“Odsonne is not for sale. A lot of this is rumbling on behind the scene and it’s just speculation at the minute.

“The club will do what the club does best for the club and we’ll act accordingly if and when any scenario comes up like we always do.

“Of course, we have a contingency if something outrageous happened. We have a number of options, but we don’t want that scenario to develop.

“I know there will be a lot of talk about Odsonne, but he’ll be fit and ready for Thursday and we know what a top player he can be.”

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