NEIL LENNON has admitted defeat in his pursuit of Kris Commons and immediately told his former employers the time has come for them to tie down the forward.


The Bolton manager gave Celtic reason for some welcome relief in the week of the first Old Firm derby in almost three years when he insisted that his chase of the apparently unsettled but always influential former Scotland international is over.

"Celtic have come out publicly and said he's not for sale, he won't be leaving and we haven't pursued that any further," said Lennon.

"I've got a great relationship with Celtic, a great relationship with Peter [Lawwell] and I don't want to damage that. People keep asking me about Kris and I feel uncomfortable talking about him because he is Celtic's player at the end of the day."

Commons was a central figure under Lennon, rattling in 31 goals last term, in the Irishman's final season in charge. But under Ronnie Deila, he has been in and out of the side as he was forced to accept his position was not guaranteed.

Yet he has begun to force the manager's hand in recent weeks, stepping up to deliver just as the heat was coming on the Norwegian coach.

Commons delivered match-winning performances on the road against Kilmarnock and Ross County in January as Celtic regained the position atop the SPFL Premiership table.

And Lennon believes Celtic should look to tap into more than just his playing abilities as he recommended the 31-year-old, out of contract in the summer and canvassing for a minimum two-year deal for a future coaching role with the Hoops.

"It was something that myself and Peter talked about. Kris gets the club, he gets Celtic," Lennon told STV. "He was having a great season last year and we talked about it in terms of working again together when his career finished. He's an intelligent boy, I think he'd have plenty to offer on the coaching side of things. I think he would be an asset for Celtic in a coaching capacity."