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Celtic pride still intact, says Lennon

Celtic manager Neil Lennon does not believe Rangers’ demise has dented his club’s reputation.

Rangers’ financial problems led new owner Charles Green to reform the outfit as newco Rangers, but they now find themselves in the Scottish Football League after SPL clubs voted against their readmission.

Lennon recognises that the derby matches between the two Glasgow-based rivals are the key attraction to the country’s domestic game, but is certain the SPL’s pulling power has not diminished.

“We are a big name, we’ve got a big reputation and obviously progress in Europe would enhance that,” Lennon told reporters.

Doubts still remain though, with Ki Sung-Yueng and Victor Wanyama both having been reported as indicating that they would like to move to a higher-profile league.

The manager was not happy with their comments, but did admit that every player has a price and sometimes selling is the right thing for the club to move forward.

“I’m a bit annoyed because when players are on international business, they shouldn’t be talking about club business,” the Scot said.

“But it was the same with Aiden McGeady a couple of years ago. He was a fabulous player here and a very important player but we got an offer that was good business.

“Every other player, regardless of whether it’s Ki, Victor, Gary (Hooper), Fraser, Adam Matthews, Emilio (Izaguirre), they are all in the same boat.

“Every player has his price and sometimes you have to move players on for their future and the benefit of the club.”

The 41-year-old has already secured the services of goalkeeper Fraser Forster on a permanent basis, after the former Newcastle man spent last two seasons on loan at Parkhead.

Lennon revealed that although he is not looking for a major overhaul at the club, if the price and player is right then he will consider more signings.

“We have trimmed the squad considerably. We don’t want to make wholesale changes,” he said.

“We’re always looking, if we feel we are getting a good player for value for money, we will always look at it.”

Sat 7 July, 2012
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