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Ange Postecoglou rules out Celtic moves for Alex Collado and Bamba Dieng

Celtic v Blackburn Rovers – Pre Season Friendly – Celtic Park
(Image credit: Andrew Milligan)

Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou is on the lookout for a versatile operator as he dismissed links to two strikers.

Reports have linked Celtic with moves for Barcelona’s Alex Collado and Bamba Dieng of Marseille.

But Postecoglou said: “Neither of them are on my radar.

“As I have said before, we will stay active in the market. There’s still a couple of weeks in terms of the transfer window being open. There is a possibility of some guys moving out and then it’s about finding the right fit for what we need.

“If the right individual comes along then we will do our work then and move on them. But at the moment we are talking to nobody and there is no-one on the horizon.”

Postecoglou’s priority this summer was to seal permanent deals for last season’s star loan players, Jota and Cameron Carter-Vickers, and get greater depth in other areas; he has signed left-back Alexandro Bernabei, midfielder Aaron Mooy, centre-back Moritz Jenz and goalkeeper Benjamin Siegrist.

“Squad depth is the key for us this year in terms of our recruiting,” he said ahead of Sunday’s cinch Premiership clash with Kilmarnock.

“We obviously did a lot of business last year and tried to build a strong foundation.

“Signing Cameron and Jota was probably the key part of our transfer policy, to make them permanent, because we felt they would improve us this year because they are going to improve.

“And after that it was about filling the gaps that I felt existed last year. We got stretched as a group and there were some areas we were really light on in terms of players.

“Our strategy has been to try and strengthen the squad in those areas. I think we have done that in the most part.

“There might be one or two areas but, for me, more important than specific positions, is just the right fit, another player who can maybe play a couple of positions and help us through our schedule and also be a contributor at different levels. That’s kind of what we are looking for.”

Other reports this week have linked Celtic employees with potential moves away, with Croatia right-back Josip Juranovic said to be attracting interest from Manchester United and Chelsea following an impressive 12 months in Glasgow.

“Josip has fitted in really well,” Postecoglou said. “He had a strong season for us last year and, like the rest of the group, has come back looking to be better.

“That’s our job, to make sure we keep improving these guys and challenging them, and Josip is one of those players.

“He’s got a big year ahead of him, obviously he’s got a World Cup to look forward to as well.

“I know he is very, very motivated to do well for this football club and my role is to make sure we keep pushing these guys to be the best they can be.”

Assistant manager John Kennedy is also said to be a managerial target for Danish side Midtjylland.

Postecoglou was not aware of any interest but said: “John has had a fantastic managerial journey so far in terms of gaining experience and knowledge.

“He has worked with some fantastic managers, me aside, and he has built up his expertise through different areas of the game.

“He started off in the junior ranks and has done some scouting, and has tried to make sure he is as well rounded as he possibly can.

“He is no different to anyone else in this football club, player or staff. If people identify him as someone they think can help their organisation, it’s up to the individuals then to make those decisions.

“But John is a really important part of what we do here, he’s an important part of my set-up, he leads a lot of the areas with respect to our football. So he is a valuable asset to this club.”

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