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Stiliyan Petrov pleads for some patience from Celtic fans in transfer window

© SNS GroupCeltic boss Neil Lennon
Celtic boss Neil Lennon

Stan Petrov believes that waiting for the right quality to become available is the right transfer policy at Celtic, rather than buying for the sake of it.

However, the Parkhead legend accepts the frustration of the Hoops support at not having a right-back in place yet to take over from Mikael Lustig, who departed last month after eight years at the club.

Neil Lennon has other areas of the pitch he wants to improve but has insisted he will not be pressured into adding numbers to appease anyone.

Indeed, the Celts manager has stated that he wants to trim his squad in the coming weeks.

Petrov totally understands his former team-mate’s way of thinking and said: “The manager will be assessing all options available to him, and the club will be working hard behind the scenes to provide him with targets to consider. It is a long, and often complicated, process.

“You need to identify the right person, and then if he is attached to a club, negotiate a transfer fee, and then the player and agent’s fees.

“That’s why you need to be patient. I understand that the supporters want to see new players being brought in and money being spent. That is only natural.

“But there has to be a proper sense of responsibility and professionalism.

“Going out and bringing someone in if you are not 100% sure is not the right way to go about things.

“Eventually, that way of thinking and operating will come back to you in a negative way.

“Equally, there is no time to waste. There are important Champions League games on the horizon, and you want to have quality players in the pitch.

“When there is £25 million for qualifying up for grabs, then you must get the best players into the team as soon as possible.

“It is not an easy situation. This time of year is often very difficult because clubs are also chasing the same players. There can be limited options.

“It is also complicated further for Scottish clubs because of the way the transfer market is. The fees are huge and often can be really inflated.

“Again, you want to get value for money and can’t pay ridiculous amounts of cash.

“Neil will be in constant dialogue with everyone at the club to help in any way to get a deal or two over the line.

“He has also stated that he wants to move a few more out of the squad, and I can see where he is coming from.

“If his preference is to have a ‘tighter’ group, then that’s not a bad thing. He is thinking about having quality over quantity. Sometimes you can have too many players and it has a negative impact.”

Lennon will not want to lose any of his top players, the core of his starting line-up.

He will ask the club to resist any offers for the likes of Callum McGregor and Odsonne Edouard.

But there is, reluctantly, an acceptance that there may well be a parting of the ways in the next couple of weeks between the club and Kieran Tierney.

Arsenal and Napoli want the player but, so far, have refused to meet the club’s valuation which is in excess of £22m.

Leicester City may still enter the equation if former Parkhead gaffer Brendan Rodgers loses England left-back, Ben Chilwell, for £40m.

Rodgers is likely to match the valuation for the Scotland star.

Petrov (above) knows this kind of situation well. After seven years at Parkhead, he left to join Aston Villa for £7m.

He said: “There comes a point in the careers of footballers that they weigh things up and make important decisions.

“Kieran Tierney may be in that position in this transfer window.

“If he goes, then the club will get excellent money for him. If he stays, then they are holding on to a quality footballer.

“But these are the kind of matters that you want resolved as soon as possible. It’s important to know where you stand and what needs to be done.”

Outwith the European programme, there is the matter of domestic duties and Petrov knows the importance of this campaign.

He said: “Yes, this is a massive season. There is so much at stake and nobody will want to miss out.

“In the past eight years, no club has been able to stop Celtic over a period of 38 league games. Rangers will want to do it this year for obvious reasons.

“But they need to show what they are about, and that they have the winning mentality. That is easier said than done.

“Scott Brown knows what is required, and he will have his players fully motivated every week on the park.

“He has been a great captain and will want the success to continue over the next two years.”