Lennon wants to pick up Pukki
Celtic boss Neil Lennon says the Parkhead club have not given up on their pursuit of Schalke striker Teemu Pukki.
The Hoops manager has already lost last season's 31-goal top scorer Gary Hooper to Norwich and is keen to sign a capable replacement in time for the Champions League signing deadline.
Finish international Pukki is at the top of the Northern Irishman's wanted list and Lennon was in Turku on Wednesday to see the 23-year-old lead his country's attack during their 2-0 home win against World Cup qualifying rivals Slovenia.
However, an initial bid has already rejected and Lennon will have to up the offer to meet his German employers' valuation, reported to be set at £2.5million.
"Teemu is a player that we like," said Lennon. "I was out watching him on Wednesday and we are trying to bring him in. It's not easy at this stage of the window.
"With a lot of clubs in Champions League position, similar to us, they won't want to let players go but we are very determined to bring players in and we are working hard in the background to do that.
"(Our bid has not been accepted) but negotiations are hopefully on-going. We will go again.
"There is a limit [to how much we will bid] for all players. What we are looking for is value for money. While we do have money to spend, we are not going to throw money at things just to justify our position. We want players who will make us better and at what we feel is the right price for the player.
"We do think Pukki is a very intelligent, sharp. His movement is excellent and his first touch is very good - very similar to Hooper. I don't know if he'd score as many as Gary but he'd certainly score his fair share of goals."
Even if Pukki does arrive in Glasgow ahead of Monday's deadline for registering players to appear in the Champions League play-off rounds, visa issues mean it will be "impossible" for him to feature in Tuesday's first leg clash against Shakhter Karagandy in Kazakhstan.
But there is also lingering interest in Heerenveen's Alfred Finnbogason and Lennon is hopeful a new arrival will be secured one way or another.
He said: "Peter Lawwell is working very hard on (the Pukki deal) but we do have other options, so it's not just specifically one player (we are looking at)."
Having already lost the services of Hooper, Kelvin Wilson and Victor Wanyama - three players who formed the spine of his outfield unit during last season's run to the Champions League's last 16 - this summer, Lennon was understandably reluctant to offer Benfica much hope in their pursuit of goalkeeper Fraser Forster.
The Lisbon outfit were impressed by the Englishman during two encounters in the group stages before the turn of the year but Lennon said: "There is nothing in that. Absolutely nothing at all. He's not for sale. He's just too important a player to me. We've sold three players already and don't want to sell any more.
"We want to bring players in. I can understand the interest in a player of his stature but I'm not going to sell him."