Lennon: Leigh Griffiths hungry to play for Celtic

Leigh Griffiths has told Celtic manager Neil Lennon that he is ready for action.

Scotland striker Leigh Griffiths has told Celtic boss Neil Lennon he is hungry for action.

The 29-year-old had a lengthy spell out earlier in the season due to injuries and personal problems and has not started a Hoops match since a meaningless Europa League group game against Cluj in Romania on December 12.

Since then he has made five substitute appearances for the Premiership champions.

The former Hibs star’s future was subject to speculation when the Hoops signed Poland Under-21 forward Patryk Klimala on a four-and-half year deal from Jagiellonia Bialystok earlier this week.

Frenchman Odsonne Edouard remains the number one striker with Vakoun Bayo also at the club recovering from injury.

However, ahead of the William Hill Scottish Cup fourth-round tie against Partick Thistle on Saturday, boss Lennon was asked if any other strikers were on the horizon.

“We have Odsonne in and Griff is looking good,” said Lennon who also confirmed Celtic have agreed a deal with Israeli side Bnei Yehuda to sign midfielder Ismaila Soro.

“He had a good Dubai trip and trained well again this week so maybe not.

“We will see how things go over the next few weeks.

“I can’t comment on speculation surrounding any player really, there has been a lot in the last few months about Griff.

“But he is hungry and he wants to play and he has made that pretty clear to me.”

Reports claim Ivory coast striker Bayo has asked to leave the club on loan for the second half of the season.

Lennon said: “I have no inclination about that at all.

“Bayo has had a few injuries but he is just coming back from a long-term injury. He is back in training now.

“We are hoping there will be a couple of deals done this week where people either go on loan or go permanently.

“There will be two or three players maybe going to leave.”

On 21-year-old Soro, who was born in the Ivory Coast and played in Moldova and Belarus before moving to Israel in 2018, Lennon said: “I think a deal has been agreed.

“We are waiting on paperwork now so hopefully that can be resolved over the next few days.

“It will be a good. He is a good player, strong, technically very good, quick across the ground, hungry.

“He is like a number six, very powerful. Gets the ball back, good close control, quite smart with the passes but at that age he still has a bit of work to do in terms of his tactical awareness.

“We like what we saw. We will give him time to adapt but I think he can play some games between now and the end of the season.

“We have done a lot of work on him. We done a lot of work on Klimala and he is in the building.

“It is good to get a couple of players in to freshen things up a bit. It gives a lift.

“Training has been good and the boys are itching to get back into it.”

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