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Neil Lennon reveals Leigh Griffiths is "hungry" to play for Celtic

Neil Lennon reveals Leigh Griffiths is
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The 29-year-old Scotland striker had a lengthy spell out earlier in the season.

Leigh Griffiths has told Celtic boss Neil Lennon that he is hungry for action.

The 29-year-old Scotland striker had a lengthy spell out earlier in the season due to injuries and personal problems and has not started a Hoops match since a meaningless Europa League group game against Cluj in Romania on December 12, with five subsequent substitute appearances last month.

Griffiths' future was subject to speculation when Poland Under-21 forward Patryk Klimala signed a four-and-half year deal from Jagiellonia Bialystok earlier this week, ostensibly as back up to number one striker Odsonne Edouard, with attacker Vakoun Bayo also at the club  recovering from injury.

However, ahead of the William Hill Scottish Cup fourth-round tie against Partick Thistle on Saturday, boss Lennon was asked if any other strikers were on the horizon.

"We have Odsonne in and Griff and Griff is looking good," said the Hoops boss, who confirmed Celtic have agreed a deal with Israeli side Bnei Yehuda to sign midfielder Ismaila Soro.

"He had a good Dubai trip and trained well again this week so maybe not.

"We will see how things go over the next few weeks.

"I can't comment on speculation surrounding any player really.

"There has been a lot in the last few months about Griff.

"But he is hungry and he wants to play and he has made that pretty clear to me."

Reports claim Ivory coast striker Bayo has asked to leave the club on loan for the second half of the season.

Lennon said: "I have no inclination about that at all.

"Bayo has had a few injuries but he is just coming back from a long-term injury. He is back in training now.

"We are hoping there will be a couple of deals done this week where people either go on loan or go permanently.

"There will be two or three players maybe going to leave."

Soro,  21, who was born in the Ivory Coast, played in Moldova and Belarus before moving to Israel in 2018.

"I think a deal has been agreed," Lennon added.

"We are waiting on paperwork now so hopefully that can be resolved over the next few days.

"It will be a good. He is a good player, strong, technically very good, quick across the ground, hungry.

"He is like a number six, very powerful. Gets the ball back, good close control, quite smart with the passes but at that age he still has a bit of work to do in terms of his tactical awareness.

"We like what we saw. We will give him time to adapt but I think he can play some games between now and the end of the season.

"We have done a lot of work on him. We done a lot of work on Klimala and he is in the building.

"It is good to get a couple of players in to freshen things up a bit.

"It gives a lift. Training has been good and the boys are itching to get back into it.

"We had a good week in Dubai and a good week this week so looking forward to the game tomorrow."

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Celtic manager Neil Lennon on October 24, 2019
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