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Lennon hopeful over deals for Ledley and 'insecure' Samaras

NEIL LENNON is hopeful he can keep both Joe Ledley and Georgios Samaras at Celtic and promised to seek "an injection of quality" to his squad in the transfer window.

Joe Ledley has intimated that he is keen to stay at Celtic
Joe Ledley has intimated that he is keen to stay at Celtic

The contracts of both Ledley and Samaras run out in the summer and the Welshman has been linked with Crystal Palace and Cardiff City with the Greek the subject of interest from Atletico Madrid and Hull City. But Lennon, speaking after the 1-0 victory over Partick Thistle yesterday that stretched his side's unbeaten record to 19 SPFL Premiership matches, said he spoke to Ledley on Hogmanay, adding: "He has intimated that he would like to stay and we are hoping we can speak to his representatives this week and get that finalised. You are never confident but hopeful.

"He's been an important player for me and the club and he gives us the stability I need. We can't have all our players leaving for big money, or bringing in players and developing them for a couple of years. I need a spine to stay together - the likes of [Scott] Brown, Ledley and a few others like [Kris] Commons and Sami if we can get him over the line."

Ledley scored the only goal and Samaras came on as a substitute. Of the Greek, Lennon said: "We need to speak to his representatives and see how the land lies. He's unsettled and a little bit insecure about things. We need to try to get him happy again. I think he'd like to stay but whether we can strike a deal or not is another thing. There has been no interest from any clubs expressed to us but maybe there has been to his representatives."

Lennon, who admitted his side had been flat, said that his players would appreciate the training camp in Turkey that follows Sunday's match against St Mirren. "We need a break and an injection of new blood."

He conceded that "could take a bit of money" but would not be drawn on links to Wolverhampton Wanderers' Leigh Griffiths and Heerenveen's Alfred Finnbogason. "There is a list of players who are targets for us and we will try to bring them in," he said.

Manager Alan Archibald was again frustrated by Thistle's profligacy but was annoyed, too, by Kevin Clancy's refusal to give a penalty after Ledley appeared to push Christie Elliott. "It was in the box; that's why he didn't give it here," he said. "Anywhere else on the pitch it's a foul."

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