Dundee United agree loan deal for Celtic striker Anthony Stokes
Last Updated: 14/01/16 9:54pm
Dundee United have agreed a deal to take Celtic striker Anthony Stokes on loan for the remainder of the season.
The Irishman, who has also been linked with similar moves to Inverness Caledonian Thistle and Hibernian, has fallen out of favour at Celtic Park this season.
United manager Mixu Paatelainen is in the market for a striker with his side rooted to the foot of the table, 11 points adrift of second-bottom Kilmarnock.
Stokes, who has been capped nine times for the Republic of Ireland, has scored 58 goals in 135 appearances for Celtic since joining from Hibs in the summer of 2010.
Earlier this week manager Ronny Deila admitted a number of clubs had inquired about the 27-year-old's availability in the winter transfer window.
"He has some options but together with Stokesy we haven't decided what is the right one yet," said the Norwegian ahead of his side's clash with United at Tannadice on Friday evening.
"A lot of clubs have been in contact who want to have Stokesy on their team. We will see what Anthony wants and what is best for the club.
"He is happy to go out on loan. He wants to get some games under his belt. It's important for everybody he finds himself, gets some good performances and can then perform for Celtic again."
Mixu Paatelainen confirmed that United were waiting to hear from the player's representatives whether he was prepared to join their fight against relegation - and fears they may miss out.
He told the club's website: "We have made an approach to Celtic and it is up to the player. He has lots of options. Dundee United are not the favourite because of our position but we create lots of chances and someone like him, a goalscorer, would relish being here.
"We have also enquired with Watford about striker Uche Ikpeazu but he will not be joining us.
"We need strength up front, another option. We have good players here and we are scoring goals but I am looking for another dimension in our game. We want someone who is good in the air, can get on the end of the excellent crosses we put in. We have a few options and we continue to look at the options available."
However, Inverness boss John Hughes, who was also credited with an interest in bringing Stokes to the Highlands, has conceded defeat on that front.
"It looks like Anthony Stokes is going elsewhere," he said, "so we wish him all the best. Whoever gets him they are getting a real talented footballer.
"Reading between the lines we realised that he didn't fancy Inverness. So we have been moving on and hopefully we can try to attract someone else."