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Samaras likely to stay but Benfica striker going nowhere

CELTIC believe Georgios Samaras will play out the rest of the season at Parkhead before his contract expires in the summer.

Samaras met Neil Lennon at the start of the week and Celtic now expect him to stay despite interest from Hull City, Atletico Madrid and Trabzonspor during the current transfer window. Samaras, 28, will almost certainly leave in the summer after six-and-a-half years with Celtic.

Before Christmas, Lennon had said he would not allow Samaras and Joe Ledley, who is also out of contract in the summer, to simply play out their remaining months. Lennon is now more relaxed about the issue and neither player will be frozen out of the side if he decides to hang around without signing a new deal.

Celtic will not make an offer for the Benfica forward Filip Djuricic despite being linked with the £6m-rated Serbian yesterday. A Portuguese newspaper reported that the club was expecting to receive a bid for the 21-year-old. Celtic have been represented at two recent Benfica games but no offer will be made for Djuricic.

Last night, Celtic were also linked with Romanian teenager Gabi Iancu, by the player's agent. Steaua Buch­arest paid £400,000 for the 19-year-old last year and have tried to impose a £20m release clause on him.

The youngster's agent has revealed that Celtic are one of the clubs keeping tabs on Iancu. "Gabi Iancu, like other young players in Romania, is being pursued by several teams," said Victor Becali. "I talked to Celtic and other clubs who are interested in the young talent in our country."

Meanwhile, Tom Rogic says he has no intention of leaving Celtic permanently after joining Melbourne Victory on loan. Rogic will stay with Victory until after the World Cup after Lennon allowed him to go on loan to boost his prospects of being in Australia's squad for the finals.

"I plan to see out my contract and establish myself with Celtic," said Rogic. "I am happy there. It's a fantastic club, but I think it's important for me at this stage of my career to be playing."

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