sport

Celtic boss rules out Macheda

Neil Lennon says there is no truth in reports Federico Macheda is on his list of summer transfer targets.

The Celtic manager has identified "more than several" potential new recruits as he faces up to the possibility of losing a number of first-team players in the close season.

Georgios Samaras will leave at the end of his contract, while goalkeeper Fraser Forster and centre-half Virgil van Dijk are expected to attract bids.

Lennon's plans are well advanced but currently do not include Macheda, the Manchester United striker whose agent was this week quoted claiming interest in his client from Celtic and Rangers.

"There is nothing in that story at all," the Celtic manager said. "We have been aware of his availability over previous transfer windows but have not pursued that. You never say never but it is just wild speculation at the minute.

"We have an extensive list of players that we are looking at with a view to bringing here in the summer. We are certainly looking at four or five positions.

"I am pretty sure that players will be leaving in the summer. I have no indication of how many but players will be leaving, I would imagine.

"Striker is always a priority position but at the minute we have very good players in that position: Leigh Griffiths is just in the door and is really settling in well.

"But if there is a quality striker out there that we can afford, and we feel can make us better, we will pursue it."

One player who has questioned his own Celtic future is Derk Boerrigter, last summer's signing from Ajax who has started just four league games.

Injury problems have not helped his cause, and Lennon said: "I am quite comfortable with everything he said. It wasn't a pop at me at all.

"He has found it frustrating because of injuries but we have played him in some big games this season. He is pretty happy here, he is just frustrated that the injuries have taken its toll on his flow of games.

"It is a worry. He has had a scan this week on an abdominal problem but that has come through okay. It has been very stop-start for him. I wouldn't say it is a major worry but it is concerning."