CELTIC have been linked with a pair of veteran Premier League strikers – even if they land priority target Andraz Sporar.

Talks are ongoing with the £5million-rated Slovan Bratislava frontman and Neil Lennon hopes to have him in place with the next fortnight.

However, the Hoops boss realises he still needs to beef up a striking department that has been forced to rely far too heavily on Odsonne Edouard for over a year while Leigh Griffiths has struggled on and off the field and has claimed a mere three strikes in 14 months.

HEADLINE ACT…Odsonne Edouard is the main attraction, but needs a support cast.

Powerful Ivorian Vakoun Issouf Bayo, bought for £2million this time last year, has also fought against injury and loss of form. He has scored only one competitive goal – a header in the 5-0 Betfred League Cup quarter-final win over Partick Thistle in September.

Now Brighton’s 36-year-old attacker Glenn Murray, who is out of contract at the end of the season, and Sheffield United’s Billy Sharp, 33, have emerged as possible short-term signings for the champions who are bidding for their ninth successive title.

Murray hit 15 goals in the previous campaign, but has collected only one this time out in 14 appearances and has also been attracting interest from Championship outfit Nottingham Forest.

HOOP HOOP HOORAY…Glenn Murray linked with Celtic.

According to a report in the Mail on Sunday, the former Crystal Palace and Bournemouth hitman will be allowed to leave this month and boss Graham Potter admitted: “I understand he has had a fantastic career, he has been great for this club and he might want to think about getting some game time.

“We have to try to respect that and understand that. I have absolutely no problem with Glenn at all.”

Sharp, at the Bramall Lane outfit, has lost his first-team place to £20million Scotland international Oli McBurnie and, like Murray, has struggled for appearances this term.

Heading for the exit is £1.2million misfit Jack Hendry, who, as CQN reported during the week, is interesting English League One sides Blackpool and Lincoln City.

However, according to the Scottish Sun on Sunday, rock-bottom Hearts may also join the race for the versatile defender who was bought by Brendan Rodgers from Dundee two years ago and has failed to settle.

He has made only a cameo appearance this season against Thistle in the Betfred Cup-tie and new Tynecastle head coach Daniel Stendel has been alerted to his availability.

HEADING FOR THE EXIT…Jack Hendry may be on Hearts’ wanted list.

Meanwhile, the Hoops look to have beaten off a host of top-flight clubs to sign teenage winger Bruno Davidson.

The hot prospect, who doesn’t turn 16 until April, is being chased by Rodgers’ Leicester City, Newcastle United, Southampton and West Ham.

However, the Hoops hope Davidson, who plays for Edinburgh Boys’ Club Hutchison Vale, will agree a three-year deal within the next week and join the club’s development squad at Lennoxtown.

One top-rated youngster who will not be joining the champions, though, is 19-year-old West Ham midfielder Conor Coventry.

The Republic of Ireland Under-21 international was on the Celtic wanted list, but he has just agreed an extension that will keep him at the London outfit until 2024 at least.


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