Kettlewell 'not surprised' by interest in Kelly amid Celtic link

Reports have linked Celtic with a summer move for the goalkeeper.

Motherwell manager Stuart Kettlewell says he isn’t aware of interest from Celtic in Liam Kelly but is not surprised if there’s interest in his captain.

Newspaper reports on Thursday morning linked the player with a move to Celtic when his contract ends this summer. Celtic number one Joe Hart is to retire at the end of the season and reserve Benjamin Siegrist is expected to leave, meaning the Glasgow club are looking at their options in the market.

Kettlewell says he didn’t know anything about interest from the Premiership leaders but was clear that Kelly’s ability meant that it would be no surprise if other teams were looking at him.

“You’ve possibly got more information than I have,” the Motherwell boss said when asked about the report. “That’s certainly not something that I’ve spoken to Liam about and I try to speak to him on a daily basis.

“I’ve trusted Liam and you look at his performances and the numbers he bashes out every season.

“You look at his ability and all these different things, his leadership has to go in there. How good a goalkeeper he is, not just with his feet but with his hands as well.

“I think he’s top drawer.

“What wouldn’t surprise me is a goalkeeper of his stature and standing attracting interest.

“But again, Liam is somebody that I would like to keep at the football club. I would like to retain him but there’s a number of factors that come into that.

“It could obviously be a big summer for him as well (if he makes Scotland’s Euro 2024 squad), and we need to see how that goes, but certainly interest from other clubs isn’t something that’s been on the agenda with us.”

Kettlewell is still hopeful that Kelly will commit his future and be part of the club’s plans for next season, and is taking the same approach with a number of players who could leave Motherwell in the summer.

“I’ve spoken to a large number of players about the situation moving forward,” he said. “I’ve tried to be as active as I possibly can be in the timescales.

“I’m the type of person that, as soon as I get an opportunity to speak to a player or give an exact outcome of a situation, I tend to jump out of my seat and make sure that happens.

“I’ve always been like that and I’ll not sit and stew on something for a week or hide from a situation and not want to speak with a player because I think it might be awkward.

“Without disclosing all those conversations, I feel like I’m well on top of that.

“Yes, I feel like in my very nature I would always like that to happen a bit sooner than what it does do but I’m as on top of that as I possibly can be at this stage.”

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