Sports Digest: Giovanni Trapattoni doesn’t want Stephen Ireland to return
Irish boss to ignore Stephen Ireland’s vague interest in an Irish recall
“He has not decided his position. James has good quality, he can grow in every game. There is an opportunity now for him to grow.”
In London to watch winger James McClean in action for Sunderland at Chelsea on Saturday, Trapattoni insisted there is only one place at most up for grabs in his Euro squad.
“If a player can convince me between now and then that he is better in his position or in a role then maybe we can decide to bring him with us but not too many players, only one,” he said.
“We have enough players who we can trust for the Europeans and we must be loyal to the players who got us here.
“In the future we can change but slow, slow, slow. In the next month we will follow McLean at Sunderland and Pilkington and Tierney at Norwich.
“They may get a chance against the Czech Republic in February but it will be difficult to get into the Euro squads. Already I know I will have to leave players out and I am disappointed with that.”
Hooper Not For Sale
CELTIC manager Neil Lennon has no intention of selling star striker Gary Hooper in the January transfer money, after rejecting another bid from Championship contenders Southampton.
Hooper proved his worth again with the first goal as Celtic beat Dundee United 2-1 at Parkhead on
Saturday as the Bhoys moved two points clear of Rangers at the top of the Scottish League table.
Midfielder Victor Wanyama got the second goal for Celtic, and afterwards Lennon was adamant that Hooper will stay with the team after his 16th goal of the season.
“When we have players like Ki Sung-yueng, Beram Kayal, Emilio Izaguirre, Hooper and James Forrest, they are not going to go cheap, that’s for sure,” said Lennon.
“They will have to pay proper money. I don’t need to speak to the board, they know my position. Everyone has their price. We are not a selling club but everyone has their price.
“The problem is if we get a knockout price, will we have time to replace someone like Gary Hooper? Trust me, they are hard to find.
“I have spoken to Gary, I am keeping him up to date. I think he is very happy here. I think Celtic and Gary suit each other, he is a Celtic type of player, strong, great finisher, great feet and his goal record speaks for itself.”
Hooper himself is adamant he wants to stay at Celtic. He told Celtic’s official website, “I’m very happy. I’m back playing now and scored at the weekend. It was good to be back in the team
“I don’t want to go anywhere. I’m a Celtic player and very happy here, winning games for Celtic and we’re two points clear at the top of the league just now.”
Celtic’s Irish defender Darren O’Dea, meanwhile, has confirmed that he wants to turn his season long loan move to Leeds into a permanent deal before the transfer window closes.
“If something could be done in January, it certainly would appeal to me to move,” O’Dea told the Irish Independent. “I’m at the stage of my life, and career, where I need to settle.
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