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Deila covets Lennoxtown upgrade

RONNY Deila will press Celtic to improve their Lennoxtown training base if they secure a £15m Cham­pions League windfall next midweek, even if that comes at the expense of making an additional signing.

Manager Deila wants the club to install a better artificial surface at Lennoxtown and cover it with a dome which would allow the players to train there in all weather. He has raised the issue with chief executive Peter Lawwell, who was supportive.

Lennoxtown is quite new, having been opened only in 2007, but Deila is so keen to see the facilities improved that he would rather see the money spent that way even if it meant not being able to make an extra signing, albeit ideally he wants both. After a 1-1 play-off round draw away to Maribor on Wednesday night Celtic can secure a lucrative group place in the home leg at Parkhead on Tuesday.

When asked whether being in the group would increase his budget for signings, Deila surprisingly answered: "The most important thing is to get better artificial grass at Lennoxtown with a dome over it. That's one of the things I think is important to do because it's hard weather in Lennoxtown in the winter and the pitches are not so good.

"To have the possibility of going inside and having quality training is maybe more important than a new player. That's what I'm looking for. The Champions League could be a positive thing for that.

"We need a bigger indoor facility than the current one. Lennoxtown is fantastic. It's just the weather, if it wasn't for that then there would be no problem. But when it's windy and rainy so much the pace goes out of the training and that's why it's important to go inside and do things."

Prioritising the training facilities over a signing might amount to self-sacrifice from Deila, given it would place long-term benefit to the club over short-term impact on results which could enhance his reputation.

"I'm never after my own cv. It's not why I went into football. I went into football to create things and to do that you need to train and have quality in it. If you improve your players 10% it is better than to buy a new player to try and solve the problem, but I hope for both!"

Mubarak Wakaso, arriving on loan from Rubin Kazan, is unlikely to feature in tomorrow's SPFL Premiership match at Caledonian Thistle. Deila said there were some ongoing issues which were delaying the deal but it was close to completion.

Serbian striker Stefan Scepovic, of Sporting Gijon, is a signing target. "We are looking for a bigger striker and he is one of the options. We need different things to use in matches."

Celtic have also been linked with Cameroon defender Jean-Armel Kana-Biyik, who is with Rennes. "You never know," said Deila. "If this player can make us better in the short term or long term, and it's the right one, I don't care what position it is."

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