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Neil Lennon confirms Celtic are looking to sign a central defender

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Neil Lennon

Celtic boss Neil Lennon has confirmed that he will be looking to sign a central defender in the summer transfer window.

The Bhoys, who won their ninth consecutive Scottish Premiership title, could be in the process of a massive rebuilding this summer if some of their star players leave.

The Hoops boss was talking about the exit of Jozo Simunovic. Lennon has confirmed that the club is thinking about handing star striker Odsonne Edouard a new deal, but the Hoops are also looking to replace Simunovic by signing a central defender.

On top of that, the future of Kris Ajer is also in doubt. The highly-rated young central defender has been linked with a move away from the club, and it could become a challenge for Celtic to keep him at Parkhead.

Lennon has revealed that Celtic’s head of recruitment, Nick Hammond is currently working hard on scouting the right profile of players. After two recruitment meetings held last week, he has confirmed that the Bhoys are looking at ‘three or four’ different types of centre-backs to replace Simunovic.

In addition, Celtic are targeting young defenders to replace the Croatian.

“We had two recruitment meetings last week and hopefully we can get the ball rolling. That will create its own excitement. Recruitment is a big part of management,” said Lennon, as quoted by the Glasgow Times.

“Nick [Hammond, Celtic’s head of recruitment] and his team have been working so hard, even over the last month or two.

“Jozo leaving was a difficult decision but one we felt was the right one for the club. We decided not to take the option up so that is a position we are looking at, younger ones to come in and play alongside [Kris] Ajer, [Hatem Abd] Elhamed and [Christopher] Jullien.

“There is a space there that we want to fill and we are looking at three or four different types of centre-half for that position.”

The exits of Hayes and Simunovic were confirmed last week after both the players’ contracts at the club had expired.

It remains to be seen how Celtic approach the transfer market. The Bhoys have retained a longstanding interest in Aberdeen’s Scott McKenna, while they could look into young players from the Premier League clubs as well.

Celtic fans will love the fact that the club has already started planning about transfers for the summer, and that they are prioritising bolstering the defence.

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