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Celtic set to go on transfer lockdown until new boss is in

© SNS GroupLeigh Griffiths has been linked with a move to Aberdeen to team up with Scott Brown again
Leigh Griffiths has been linked with a move to Aberdeen to team up with Scott Brown again

Celtic are set to put Leigh Griffiths and co. on transfer lockdown.

The Hoops last week confirmed that their captain Scott Brown is to leave in the summer.

The 35-year-old, a hugely-influential figure at the club over the last 14 years, is heading for Aberdeen who he has agreed to join in a pre-contract deal.

There he will link up with Stephen Glass, a former team-mate at Hibs, to be his No. 2 on a player/coach basis.

News of Brown’s decision was a surprise to many fans, who had assumed he was destined for a coaching role at Celtic Park when his playing days were over.

The fact such an apparently settled player would look to move on has left them wondering whether others will also soon be looking for the exit door.

Rumours have been rife in the North East that Aberdeen are also looking into the possibility of bringing Leigh Griffiths north with Brown as the Dons are in need of a proven striker.

The £2-million sale of Sam Cosgrove to Birmingham City in the January window was a financial boost at a time when all clubs are struggling due to the continued impact of the coronavirus.

However, while they moved to fill the void left by his departure through the recruitment of Fraser Hornby, Florian Kamberi and Callum Hendry, all three are loans.

Griffiths, a Scotland internationalist who has been a prolific goal scorer over a career that has included spells with Livingston, Dundee, Wolves and Hibs, would have obvious appeal.

Crucially, although he has time left on his deal, he is currently on the periphery at Celtic.

This season he has hit only five goals with caretaker manager John Kennedy using him very sparingly off the substitutes’ bench.

In the derby against Rangers when the home team were looking for a winner, he waited until the 88th minute to introduce the striker.

That move prompted former Celt Charlie Nicholas to say that Griffiths’ time was up, but it is understood the club want to leave all such decisions to the new manager.

Kennedy, who himself has possibilities of landing the post on a permanent basis, confirmed earlier this month that would be the plan for Jack Hendry.

The centre-half, who started for Scotland against Austria last Thursday, is out on loan at Belgian club Oostende who are keen to sign him off the back of a string of impressive displays.

Celtic’s stance will also apply to David Turnbull, the young Scot who just missed out on international call up.

Former Hoops striker Frank McAvennie had voiced fears the midfielder could consider leaving because he kept getting substituted in games.