CELTIC have targeted two international strikers as they prepare for
the likely return of Gary Hooper to England.

One of the players that Neil Lennon wants is the Latvian Artjoms Rudnevs, who is available from Hamburg for around £5m. The Bundesliga club need to sell to free funds for a bid for Everton's Nikica Jelavic, although Rudnevs would have to take a wage cut to come to Celtic.

Lennon is also interested in the Tunisian internationalist Saber Khelifa, who is with French club Evian. The 26-year-old is rated at around £3m and was watched by Lennon in last season's French Cup final. Khelifa has failed to return for pre-season training with his club and was expected to join Montpellier until they pulled out of a move yesterday.

Hooper played as a second-half substitute last night as Celtic beat Cliftonville 2-0 in Glasgow to secure
a comfortable 5-0 aggregate and ease into the Champions League third qualifying round. They will be at home again next week in the first leg against Swedish champions Elfsborg, who defeated Latvians Daugava 11-1 on aggregate.

Lennon, who revealed that chief executive Peter Lawwell spoke with Nottingham Forest yesterday to inform them Kelvin Wilson was not for sale unless their £1.5m bid was improved substantially, admitted Celtic would need to play more impressively against Elfsborg than they had against Cliftonville.

"We had 30 attempts at goal so our shooting wasn't the best: we were a bit rusty in that department. But the back four are looking really good at the minute," said the Celtic manager. "That's two clean sheets and another game under our belts, which is important ahead of Elfsborg next week.
I want to see a lot of improvement for that game. We'll need to be better, better with our movement, crisper with our passing and a little more clinical in front of goal. The players all know what's at stake.

"How big a step-up will it be for Elfsborg? If Helsingborg last season are any barometer then it will be a big one. I'm going to have them watched at the weekend and we'll try and cover everything that we possibly can between now and Wednesday."

Uefa yesterday revealed Celtic made £20.2m from their Champions League run in 2012-13. "It went well for us last year but there's no guarantee that we'll get there this year," added Lennon.

The Celtic manager had nothing to report on Hooper's potential transfer to Norwich City or Queens Park Rangers, although the striker may have played his last competitive game for Celtic. "I spoke with him today and he didn't give me an indication either way as to what he was thinking so I suppose no news is good news. Listen, if I've got him here next week then I'll be delighted. It's a better squad with Gary in it," said Lennon.

Tommy Breslin, the Cliftonville manager, was proud of his side's efforts. "There was always a fear that we would be lambs to the slaughter but they stood up well. I'm proud we are in the Champions League and I'm proud we had a team out at Celtic Park, but I'm still thinking we gave away two goals."