WITH nine-in-a-row in the bag, thoughts at Celtic are turning towards the pursuit of a historic tenth Scottish top flight title in a row.
Not to mention the chance to ensure that the Hoops are back in the Champions League group stages – as soon as Uefa can confirm precisely when qualifying ties will take place.
Boss Neil Lennon has revealed the club have opened talks with star man Odsonne Edouard over a new deal while Jozo Simunovic and Jonny Hayes have been allowed to move on from the club.
Here SunSport gives you a run down of the big football stories coming out of Parkhead today:
Celtic lose highly-rated starlet Josh Adam to Manchester City
SunSport told in April how the attacking midfielder, 16, was set to be poached by the Premier League giants.
It’s believed the talented teenager was wanted by a number of clubs across England and Germany.
But City have won the race for his signature and Adam will move down south this summer, according to the Daily Telegraph.
Adam caught their eye when he dazzled for Celts at the Marc Overmars tournament in Holland and was named player of the competition.
The news will come as a bitter blow to the Hoops, having lost another top prospect.
Duff appointed boss of Shelbourne U17s after Celtic exit
FORMER Celtic coach Damien Duff has been appointed manager of Shelbourne’s Under 17s side…just days after quitting Parkhead.
The ex-Chelsea and Ireland winger announced he was leaving his role as Hoops coach for family reasons, with the 41-year-old opting to concentrate on being Stephen Kenny’s assistant manager for Republic of Ireland.
But he’s now decided to also work for the Dublin club too where he will coach their youngsters.
Duff admitted he was gutted to leave Neil Lennon’s side last week.
He said: “There is no job in the world that would have taken me away from the role I was in.
“I’d love to be a brilliant coach one day, but I think it’s more important at the minute that I’m just a brilliant dad, I guess.”
Lennon will want to add to backroom staff despite Strachan’s arrival, says McAvennie
Strachan, 41, left his role as Peterborough United No2 to replace Damien Duff as Hoops first-team coach this week.
The son of ex-Parkhead boss Gordon knows John Kennedy well having gone through their coaching badges together.
But Macca believes boss Lennon will want another trust ally in – like close pal and ex-Celtic coach Garry Parker.
Pressley rates Gordon as better keeper than Goram
The 37-year-old veteran is in talks over a return to boyhood club Hearts after his contract with Celtic ended.
The move would be a huge coup for new boss Robbie Neilson as he looks to reshape his squad for life in the Championship.
Pressley played in front of top shotstoppers like Goram, Boruc and Antti Niemi during his playing career.
But the ex-Jambos skipper insists former teammate Gordon – who has knocked back a deal with St Mirren – is the best of the lot.
Celtic being sued by alleged victim of historic sexual abuse
CELTIC are being sued over claims of historic sexual abuse.
Thompson’s Solicitors say they have started formal legal action against the club, a move they describe as “highly significant”.
They represent an alleged victim who claims he was abused at Celtic Boys’ Club.
Paperwork for a personal injuries case was lodged at the Court of Session in Edinburgh – with Celtic PLC listed as the defender.
Thompson’s represent 25 alleged victims of the Celtic Boys’ Club scandal and say it is the “largest and most insidious” in British football.
Patrick McGuire, partner with the Glasgow based firm, said: “This is a highly significant day for survivors of historic abuse in Scottish sport.”
Derby join transfer hunt for Craig Gordon as he mulls over Hearts deal
But Derby have now entered the fray, with the Championship side in the market for a new No1.
Celtic to host Rangers in first Old Firm clash of season before end of October
It’s understood the SPFL plan to release the 2020-21 Premiership and Championship fixtures next Friday.
Celtic boss Neil Lennon indicated a fortnight ago he’d like the opening home clash against the Gers – normally watched by nearly 60,000 fans – pushed back as long as possible to at least ensure it’s not behind closed doors due to the Covid-19 situation.
But, it’s now believed that won’t happen and it will be fixed for a date no later than October.
Sky Sports’ five-year broadcasting deal kicks off on August 1 and it’s thought they want the first derby to be pencilled in for the end of the month.
Celtic ‘drawing up plans to have 30,000 fans inside Parkhead’ by end of AUGUST
The Hoops are scheduled to kick off their 10 in a Row campaign on August 1 as the SPFL hope to get the new season underway.
And reports say Parkhead chiefs are hoping to host games at half capacity as early as a few weeks into the new season if the two metre social distancing rule is reduced.
The government unveiled plans for easing lockdown on Wednesday with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon revealing plans to introduce live outdoor events with physical distancing and restricted numbers – a decision welcomed by the SFA and SPFL Joint Response group.
Edouard on Celtic’s most important game behind nine-in-a-row
The French idol insisted being humbled by Steven Gerrard’s men at Parkhead at the end of last year provided the spark for them to dramatically up their game.
On returning from their winter break training in Dubai the Hoops won nine out of 10 games between January and March, drawing at Livingston, to create a stunning 13-point lead as Rangers wilted.
Football’s shutdown mid-March due to the Covid-19 crisis prevented Celtic from stretching even further ahead of their bitter rivals before, last month, being crowned champions by the SPFL on a points-per-game basis.
And Edouard – 28 goals from 45 games last season – said: “The defeat to Rangers on December 29 was important to me and to us as a team, because we used this game to become better.”
Strachan getting Celtic job had ‘f*** all’ to do with his dad says Fry
BARRY FRY reckons any Celtic player who underestimates Gavin Strachan is a FOOL.
And the Peterborough United director of football also emphatically made it clear the new Hoops No3’s famous dad Gordon had ‘f*** all’ to do with the appointment.
Larger than life character Fry feels great pride at Strachan junior’s step up to a club he rates one of the biggest in the game.
The 75-year-old – now 58-years in the game having started as a kid at Manchester United under Sir Matt Busby – gave him his first coaching job and has since watched his development with enormous satisfaction.
Lennon believes football break may be ‘godsend’ for Brown
The Hoops skipper turns 35 tomorrow and is back in training at Lennoxtown more than three months after his last game.
Celts gaffer Lenny rarely rested the former Scotland star during the push for nine in a row and believes the rest may have done him good.
He said: “Some of these lads have not had much of a break in three or four years.
“I’ve been going through the stats and the likes of Broony and Callum McGregor are right at the top of minutes played.
“The break might be a godsend to Scott. He’s looking injury-free and really fit.”
Claudio Bravo admits he’s flattered by Celtic interest
MANCHESTER CITY keeper Claudio Bravo has admitted he’s flattered to be linked with a move to Celtic and he’s refused to close the door on any club.
The 37-year-old Chilean keeper has been told he can leave City and has been linked with a switch to Celtic, as well as Arsenal and Galatasaray.
Celtic look certain to lose Craig Gordon, while doubts remain about the future of Fraser Forster, who has returned to Southampton following a successful loan spell.
And Bravo has admitted he will consider all options as he chooses his next club.
Celtic fans troll Man United supporters’ Matt Busby banner
The Red Devils will play their first home game behind closed doors this evening when they host Sheffield United at Old Trafford.
United have decorated empty seats with fan banners and one which covers the Stretford End reads: ‘Football is nothing without fans – Sir Matt Busby’.
Celtic legend Jock Stein famously said ‘Football without the fans is nothing’ with the words etched on his statue outside Parkhead.
And while it is not known who first coined the term, Hoops supporters have hijacked the Twitter post which shows the banner as they mockingly attributed famous quotes from real life and the movie world.
Hayes playing for FREE at Aberdeen after agreeing to defer salary for 12 months
The winger sealed his Pittodrie return on Tuesday and has agreed to defer his whole salary for 12 months.
McInnes admits there would have been no chance of it happening if Hayes hadn’t made that selfless gesture.
With the Dons losing up to £10 million because of the Covid-19 crisis, he wouldn’t have been able to table an offer unless the 32-year-old was willing to take a huge hit.
And McInnes insists the Irishman is a shining example of a sportsman more interested in his career than cash.
Celtic promise fans they will receive additional value for renewing season tickets
Hoops fans have until next week to renew their seat at Parkhead as the club go for the holy grail of ten in a row.
The club launched their season ticket campaign before the coronavirus pandemic halted football, however, they are still charging supporters full price for the seat.
But Celts say it is their ‘firm intention to give additional value to our season ticket holders for this and coming seasons’ to thank them for their backing during such times.
Jim Duffy recovering in hospital after suffering a heart attack
The 61-year-old was taken to hospital in Glasgow at the weekend after suffering chest pains.
Tests have since shown he suffered a heart attack and he has been moved to a specialist cardiac unit on the outskirts of Glasgow.
However, he is understood to be recovering well and hopes to be released soon.
The Sons boss had to undergo routine Covid-19 testing, as is normal for all hospital patients, and has had further tests.
Ironically, popular Duffy is a teetotaller and non-smoker and has had no prior health issues.
Edouard reveals he was DISILLUSIONED in first few months at Celtic
And the £30million-rated idol even wondered if he should’ve stayed with PSG after initially coming on loan.
But now the 22-year-old is loving life in Paradise and setting his sights on helping the Hoops to achieving 10-in-a-row.
Edouard spoke to French podcast Destin 2 Pro – with twitter site Celtic France producing a translated version – about the early torment he overcame to finally establish himself as a fans hero and eventually seal a record £10m move.
The lethal frontman scored on his debut at Hamilton in September, 2017, but was then in and out of the side.
At one point France under-21 ace Edouard couldn’t even make the BENCH.
But the turning point for him was a hat-trick against Motherwell in December that year – and the rest is history.
Five Celts who could emerge from shadows and play a key role in 10IAR bid
CELTIC are about to embark on arguably the biggest season in the club’s illustrious 132 year history.
The Parkhead giants are just one title away from reaching the holy grail of ten in a row – a feat never achieved before in Scottish football.
You don’t have to explain the significance to Neil Lennon and his squad of serial winners.
The likes of Scott Brown, James Forrest and Callum McGregor have all been integral to the club’s unprecedented success in recent years.
Celtic’s road to the treble Treble has been a remarkable story, with an incredible fourth clean sweep still on the cards.
Now Hoops stars will dream of a fairytale ending as they look to write the final chapter and complete a decade of pure dominance.
And while iconic captain Brown will be called upon again, the 2020/21 campaign could be defining for a number of other Celtic players who have the chance to become legends.
Celtic, Aberdeen and Killie donate ALL their £50,000 SPFL grant to charity
The SPFL Trust has confirmed all 42 clubs successfully applied for – and would receive – a share of the £3.1million donation made by Scottish football saviour James Anderson.
The Hoops have advised their £50,000 grant will be passed on to their charity the Celtic FC Foundation.
Hayes happy to take wage cut as ex-Celtic star targets trophies at Aberdeen
The 32-year-old has penned a two-year deal with Aberdeen just weeks after being released by Celtic.
Hayes has accepted a cut-price contract which defers part of his salary until next year despite interest from Dundee United.
And insists winning things is more important than high wages.
Ex-Celt Berkovic on Israel’s manager shortlist for Scotland Euro 2020 clash
The Israelis are in the process of agreeing a compensation package for manager Andreas Herzog and sports director Willie Rothensteiner, with both Austrians set to leave before they face Scotland in October at Hampden.
And Berkovic is on a four-man shortlist of managers to be considered by the Israeli FA, ahead of the delayed semi-final, with the winners due to travel to face either Norway or Serbia.
Berkovic cost Celtic a then-huge £5.75million when John Barnes snapped him up in 1999.
But his time at Parkhead wasn’t a happy period and he eventually signed for Manchester City.
Since retiring, Berkovic has gone on to manage Hapoel Tel Aviv, but quit the club after falling out with the club’s owner.
He was also part-owner of lower league side Hapoel Rishon LeZion.
Celtic wanted Gordon to stay on 80 per cent LESS pay as he considers Hearts move
CRAIG GORDON has confirmed his contract talks with Celtic have stalled – revealing the drop in money on the table is ENORMOUS.
SunSport revealed how the Celts Invincibles keeper was no further forward in signings discussions with Parkhead chiefs.
And with former club Hearts now in the race to snap up the 37- year-old, Gordon is planning to take time to consider his future.
Asked in a radio interview if the offer made to him was significantly less than his last contract, Gordon said: “It was absolutely enormous.
“So there wasn’t much chance of that being a possibility of a deal.
“It was a long way short of what I was expecting from them. And that’s what I told them.
“As yet they’ve not come back with anything else so it’s up to them still to come back.
“I said that a few weeks ago and it was in the press in Scotland, that they could come back with a better deal.
“I said I’d still be willing to listen and absolutely nothing has changed since then.”
Celtic in ‘advanced talks’ with PSG over glamour Paris friendly
L’Equipe reports that Hoops chiefs are in advanced talks to take on the Ligue 1 champions in July.
Thomas Tuchel wants to use the friendly as a warm-up for the French Cup Final against Saint-Etienne after their season was curtailed early.
But there’s a major question mark over the proposed fixture due to current travel restrictions with the pandemic and the need for a 14-day quarantine for those jetting into the UK.
Belgian outfit Anderlecht are also being considered by PSG, who would unleash superstars like Kylian Mbappe and Neymar.
Celtic confirm appointment of Gavin Strachan as new first-team coach
SunSport revealed last week that the son of former Hoops boss Gordon was set to replace Damien Duff at Parkhead.
And now the Peterborough United assistant manager has officially joined Neil Lennon’s coaching staff.
Strachan already knows Lennon and has a close relationship with Celts No2 John Kennedy, having gone through their coaching badges together.
Celtic have been searching for a new coach since Duff quit his post to take up a Republic of Ireland role.
Darren O’Dea and Stephen McManus, both currently working at the club, were in the running to step up.
But Lennon decided to turn to Strachan, who will now play a key role in Celtic’s quest for an historic ten in a row.
Rangers fan McLean on time he abused ex-Celtic flop Pukki at Glasgow SUBWAY
Finnish striker Pukki has become the goalscorer for Norwich after flopping at the Hoops following his move from Schalke in 2013.
He made such little impact in those days Scotland star McLean doesn’t even know if he played against him when he was at St Mirren.
But the ex-Aberdeen midfielder will never forget the time they bumped into each other on a night out.
Celtic in race with Bulgarian champions Ludogorets to seal 10 in a row first
The Razgrad club clinched their own version of nine-in-a-row at the weekend after beating Beroe 2-1 to seal a runaway Bulgarian title win.
Like Celtic, they are aiming for a historic ten-in-a-row milestone next season, which would surpass the record set by CSKA Sofia, who won nine titles in a row, from 1954.
However, while Celtic have taken 132 years to try and win ten titles in a row, Ludogorets were only formed 19 years ago and won their first title in 2012… and they’ve won every league since then.
And the club’s managing director, Angel Petrichev, insisted there will be no easing up for next season as they aim to match the Hoops in domestic domination.
Celtic outcast Shved in demand as Hungarian champions join race for winger
FERENCVAROS have entered the race for Celtic outcast Marian Shved after their manager was quizzed about his interest in the winger.
Shved has been linked with a return to his homeland after failing to impress Neil Lennon.
He made just three appearances for Celtic since his £2million move last year, as one of Brendan Rodgers’ last signings.
A five minute cameo appearance against Clyde in the Scottish Cup this year was his first sighting in the Hoops since October and he’s set to be allowed to leave on loan.
And Hungarian champions Ferencvaros are interested in snapping up Shved, with former Spurs striker Sergie Rebrov considering making the 22-year-old his third Ukrainian in his squad, with Igor Kharatin and Alexander Zubkov already at the Budapest club.
McAvennie on the one Rangers star he’d pay more for..and it’s not Morelos
Midfielder Jack, 28, is in his fourth season at Ibrox and is a Steven Gerrard favourite.
Colombian hitman Morelos has been touted for big money moves across Europe after hitting 29 goals last term.
But Celtic legend McAvennie believes ex-Aberdeen captain Jack is the main man for Rangers and the one player he’d pay money for.
Gordon considering offer of two-year deal from Hearts
CRAIG GORDON is considering a two-year deal from Hearts — as Celtic stall on an improved contract offer.
SunSport can reveal the 37-year old keeper has rejected a move to St Mirren.
Now it’s between the two Scottish clubs Gordon has played for as the ex-Scotland No 1 weighs up his future.
Celtic want to re-sign the hugely-experienced goalie as back-up to Fraser Forster.
But the deal on the table from the Premiership champions is on vastly reduced terms — and Gordon is unimpressed with the way negotiations have gone until now.
Hayes set to clinch Aberdeen return this week
The 32-year-old will pen a deal for Derek McInnes three years after leaving for Celtic.
Hayes was released by the Hoops earlier this month and attracted interest from Premiership new boys Dundee United, but had made up his mind he wanted to rejoin the Dons.
With Aberdeen currently speaking to players about wage cuts, the Irishman has agreed a contract which works for the club in the current circumstances.
Hayes is expected to meet up with his team-mates for training at Cormack Park later this week.
Lennon wants to hand Christie new long-term deal
Neil Lennon last night revealed he’s eager to reward the Scotland star with a new improved deal.
Attacker Christie, 25, has two years remaining on his current agreement which runs until the summer of 2022.
He scored 19 goals before the season ended due to the Coronavirus lockdown with Lennon delighted with his form.
And the Hoops boss will now instruct the club’s board to hand Christie an extension.
Forrest believes Celtic can get even better as they bid for 10-in-a-row
JAMES FORREST is confident the added pressure of going for a record 10th consecutive title will drive Celtic on to even higher standards.
The Hoops have won the last 11 major trophies in Scotland and are in the semi-finals of the 2019-20 Scottish Cup, which is still due to be finished.
The intensity will increase in the coming season as Celtic aim for an unprecedented 10-in-a-row after matching the record first set by Jock Stein’s side and then equalled by Rangers in 1997.
Forrest has been involved in all nine title successes and is sure he and his team-mates can handle the demands.
Lennon warns new signings won’t wait long for significance of 10-in-a-row to be ’embedded’ in them
CELTIC boss Neil Lennon insists the importance of next season’s quest for their tenth successive title must not be underrated.
And warned that any new arrivals at Celtic Park will learn the requirements very quickly and these will be ‘embedded’ into them.
Lennon says the chance to make history means the self-motivation is already there for everyone at the club.
But the incentive to complete a decade of dominance adds extra motivation.
Izaguirre could cross derby divide as he weighs up Olimpia transfer
EMILIO IZAGUIRRE is weighing up crossing one of the biggest rivalries in football after Honduran side Olimpia made a move to sign the veteran full back.
The defender, who had two spells with the Hoops, which yielded 12 trophies, including seven league titles – is out of contract at first club Motagua and faces an uncertain future.
But he’s considering signing for the club’s great rivals, Olimpia, who were involved in a shocking riot earlier this season, which Izaguirre was caught up in.
He was treated at a hospital in the Honduran capital Tegucigalpa after his team bus was attacked before Motagua’s explosive showdown with Olimpia.
However, he could now make the controversial transfer between the huge Central American rivals.