Lennon coy over interest in Bellamy

Neil Lennon has refused to confirm or deny any interest in Craig Bellamy – but is hoping to make a high-profile signing before the SPL starts.

Manchester City striker Bellamy’s future at Eastlands is uncertain as City boss Roberto Mancini reshapes his squad for his first full season in charge, and Lennon is reportedly interested in luring Bellamy to Glasgow.

Lennon, whose side exited the Champions League despite a 2-1 win over Sporting Braga last night, expects to hear from Aiden McGeady today over the Republic of Ireland winger’s visit to Russia to hold talks with Spartak Moscow.

And he did not rule out a move for Bellamy, who played alongside Lennon on a loan spell at Parkhead in 2005, when asked about the speculation following Celtic’s 4-2 aggregate defeat in the third qualifying round.

“I wouldn’t like to say anything at the moment on that,” the Celtic manager responded.

When asked whether the club were in a position to make such a high-profile signing, he said: “I would hope so but I don’t know. It’s still up in the air as regards that.

“I don’t know if we will, but if not we have got a lot of attacking options as it is.

“We are scoring goals and creating a lot of chances. We are playing at a tempo that even Braga struggled with.”

Lennon was “delighted” with his side’s overall display and praised several players including Cha Du-ri, substitute Marc-Antoine Fortune, Joe Ledley, Scott Brown and goalscorers Gary Hooper and Efrain Juarez.

“Brown was fantastic,” Lennon added. “He gets a lot of unfair criticism from a lot of quarters, but I thought he was immense.

“I thought he played a real captain’s role, but then that’s just my opinion.”

While Cha received praise for his overall display, Lennon admitted the right-back was at fault as he allowed Paulo Cesar to run across him and head home the opening goal.

And Lennon is in no doubt where his main problems lie as his side prepare for the opening SPL clash at Inverness on August 14 and their first Europa League play-off five days later.

“We keep conceding soft goals,” Lennon said. “I’m learning from it and hopefully the players are learning from it as well.

“I just think it was a poor goal, the guy has got across Cha. I didn’t think there was much pace on the cross and he headed it from far out.

“I would like to keep a balanced back four as much as we can so they can build up some sort of relationship.

“I will think about that over the next couple of days and maybe bring one or two in if possible.”

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