O'Neill looks to keep Lennon
By Peter ORourke
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Celtic boss Martin O'Neill is hopeful of keeping Neil Lennon at Parkhead.Celtic boss Martin O'Neill is hopeful of keeping Neil Lennon at Parkhead.
Bolton have been linked with the former Leicester City ace as doubts continue to grow over Lennon's future.
Lennon is out of contract in the summer and as yet no new deal has been agreed.
Like Lennon, Celtic skipper Jackie McNamara is coming to the end of his contract and O'Neill is determined to tie the pair down to new deals.
"I was not surprised [at Bolton's interest} and I believe that wherever Neil Lennon decides to play he is capable of playing at the top level, and that means in the English Premiership," said O'Neill.
"I believe that if Neil Lennon and Jackie McNamara stay they are certainly capable of doing exactly what they have been doing in the last few years at this football club.
"Neil is a few years older than Jackie and therefore the length of contract is something that we might have to discuss, but at this minute it's not a major issue.
"Neil Lennon might, after four and a half years here, decide that he wants to try something else.
"We are in discussions at this minute but if he stays at this football club then I'd be delighted.
"The ball's all over the place and there are lots of issues to discuss, like finances and length of contract."
Meanwhile, Bolton boss Sam Allardyce has played down the reports linking him with a move for Lennon and Everton's Alan Stubbs.
Allardyce claims he was misquoted over his transfer plans
"At the moment they are not on my agenda," Allardyce told the club's official website.
"The Alan Stubbs scenario came around purely and simply by a comment that I made to a certain journalist. I said that there's probably one English player who could fit the role that we have in that central midfield and that was Alan Stubbs who I had seen doing that role early in his Bolton Wanderers career.
"That's why I said it. I didn't know he was out of contract at the time and then all of a sudden he was linked with us.
"Neil Lennon was put to us a while ago but obviously we said that there was no interest at this moment in time."