Neil Lennon in Odsonne Edouard Celtic transfer vow as boss provides update on striker’s new deal talks
Neil Lennon says Celtic won’t be caught with their guard down if and when star striker Odsonne Edouard wins a move from Parkhead.
The Hoops gaffer is desperate to keep the 22-year-old Frenchman, who has been a revelation since arriving from PSG.
Edouard’s current contract doesn’t expire until 2022.
But despite opening up extension talks with the 28-goal frontman in June, there has been no progress on securing a new deal.
And with an extended transfer window until October 5, Lennon is bracing himself for bids for some of his stars.
But having already replaced Moussa Dembele and Kieran Tierney in recent years for huge transfer fees, Lennon insists the club will be ready for any transfer eventuality.
Ahead of Celtic’s Premiership opener against Hamilton Accies, the manager said: “It’s as you were with Edouard’s deal.
“There has been no further movement one way or another on it.
“But whether it’s Odsonne or any other player – like in previous years when we sold guys like Dembele and Tierney – we’ll be prepared for it.
“There may be intense speculation around some of our players so we have to plan ahead.
“That’s what we do, it’s like a circular motion.
“We have to keep the wheels moving and be prepared for any eventuality when the market opens.
“It’s going to be a long transfer window until October. There will be pros and cons.
“You just don’t know, a club could come in and show real interest in one of your players.
“Then you have to play a waiting game to see if they’re going to bid or if it’s just unsettling for the player involved.
“I don’t know how it will pan out but we’ll have to adapt.”
Meanwhile, as his side gear up for their assault on 10-in-a-row, Lennon revealed that even if they achieve their holy grail, Celtic’s quest for trophies won’t stop.
He said: “We’re looking to improve this season, domestically and in Europe.
“But ultimately at the start of the season the priority is always to win the title – whether it’s your 10th or your first.
“Of course, for the players there’s a real incentive for them at the end of this season but if we get the 10, it doesn’t just stop.
“That’s what we have to make clear to the players and it’s what we’re thinking behind the scenes. We still want to develop people and improve the team.”
Lennon has yet to decide whether to throw new Greek keeper Vasilis Barkas in for his debut against Accies this afternoon.
But he says he’s in no rush to sign another back-up goalie, despite losing Fraser Forster and Craig Gordon.
Lennon said: “We’ll take a view on that as we go along and speak to Stevie Woods, our goalkeeper coach.
“We’re delighted to get Barkas done and we’ve also got Scott Bain on a long-term contract.
“We’ve got Conor Hazard who has done really well in pre-season.
“So the position isn’t a major priority for us at the moment.
“If Barkas isn’t ready, we’ll go with Bain, who has also had a good pre-season campaign.”