NEIL Lennon believes the days of Celtic making marquee signings like Craig Bellamy and Robbie Keane in the January transfer window may be in the past due to the widening financial gulf between English and Scottish football

Lennon, who has signed Polish striker Patryk Klimala for £3.5m and Ivorian midfielder Ismaila Soro for £2m this month, stated the Parkhead club may not bring in any more players before the window closes at midnight on Friday.

However, the Northern Irishman, whose side is five points clear of Rangers at the top of the Ladbrokes Premiership going into their match against St Johnstone in Perth tonight, stressed he is content with the strength of his squad.

And he pointed out the big name players that many fans demanded after the Old Firm defeat before the winter shutdown last month may not – as was the case with Bellamy in 2005 and Keane in 2006 – guarantee success.


“Sometimes that (a marquee signing) is not realistic,” he said. “We would all love that. But sometimes it can go the other way. It can upset the balance and dynamic and atmosphere in the dressing room and that’s something we are mindful of.

“It’s harder to do that kind of signing now anyway. The way the money is elsewhere it’s very difficult.

“We’re working away, but if we don’t bring anyone else in then I’ll be happy to go with what we have. The squad has good depth and quality. It’s always a difficult window and fans are looking for new faces. but I won’t bring in players just for the sake of it. If the window closed tonight I’d be happy enough.”


Asked about the clamour for new signings which followed the 2-1 league defeat to Rangers at Celtic Park at the end of December, Lennon said: “Things were not so bad. You have to keep calm. You have to not get yourself into a tizzy and take a step away and have a look and see what’s required.

“It helps that we had a good window last summer. That was very good and I was delighted with it. I can’t guarantee we’ll do any more business this month.

“Sometimes towards the end of a window players become available, but right now it’s all quiet. If we can do something, we will. Nick (head of football operations Hammond) is working 24/7 at the minute.”