Soccer Digest: Celtic boss Neil Lennon prepares for new season
“Victor is due back on July 11 and will meet us on tour in Germany. It does not surprise me that there is interest in Victor as he had an incredible season.
“We think he is a great player but I’m just not happy about the way things have been dealt with. As far as we are concerned Victor is not going anywhere as he signed a long-term contract.”
The Celtic boss has also confirmed that talks are set to resume with striker Gary Hooper over a new deal.
“We had a meeting with Gary’s representatives in May. I am assuming talks will start again,” said Lennon. “At 24, Gary still has plenty of progress left in him.”
Damian Duff Ready
WINGER Damien Duffhas dropped his biggest hint yet that he is ready to continue with the Ireland team into the forthcoming World Cup campaign.
Speaking as he visited Irish peacekeeping troops in the Lebanon, Duff told the Irish Sun that he is ready to play on for his country.
“At the minute I’m still an Ireland player,” Duff said. “I never brought it up that I was thinking about retirement.
“I’ve spoken to Giovanni and Marco and at the moment I’m still available.
“There’s speculation just because of my age. I’m 33 years old, but I feel as good as ever. I feel 23.
“Listen, I’m going to play until I drop. I don’t think I’m interested in anything else. Fulham, Ireland, if I end up in the Airtricity League, the Leinster Senior League.
“I’m going to do all that. You may laugh but that’s the plan, it’s on my list. I’m just going to play until I drop so I have to look after myself to do that.
“I asked Andy Cole if he was missing it and he said, ‘No, not at all,’ but I’d be the polar opposite. I live for football and have since I started kicking a ball.”
SHAMROCK Rovers suffered another setback on Sunday when Pat Flynn scored a late equalizer for St. Pat’s in the 1-1 Dublin derby draw at Tallaght Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Airtricity League leaders Sligo Rovers also dropped points at the weekend when they were held to a 1-1 draw by visitors Bray Wanderers.
Bohs also left it late as they snatched a last-minute equalizer in their 1-1 draw away to Cork City.
Derry City won 1-0 at UCD while Shels hammered crisis club Dundalk 4-0 at Tolka Park.
Irish teams enjoyed mixed fortunes against Icelandic opposition in the Europa League when St. Pat’s beat IBV 1-0 at Richmond Park in their first leg clash, while Bohs were held to a scoreless draw at home to Thor Akureyri.
The draw for the semifinals of the EA Sports Cup has paired Shamrock Rovers with Limerick in Tallaght, while Sligo Rovers will visit Drogheda. The games will be played on the first week in August.
IPSWICH manager Paul Jewell believes he may be priced out of a permanent move for on-loan Celtic striker Daryl Murphy despite the player being told he has no future in Glasgow by Parkhead boss Neil Lennon . . .
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