Celtic boss Neil Lennon welcomes prospect of fans returning to Parkhead

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Image: Celtic have won four points from their opening two Scottish Premiership fixtures

Celtic manager Neil Lennon has welcomed the prospect of fans returning to Parkhead next week.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon on Thursday gave the green light for a limited amount of spectators to attend matches from September 14 as long as the spread of coronavirus remains under control.

Reports claim Celtic's home Scottish Premiership match against Motherwell on August 30 could be used as a test match for some supporters to attend games.

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Ahead of Saturday's league trip to Dundee United, live on Sky Sports, Lennon said: "It would be fantastic.

"The club are collaborating with the government to try to make this happen and later on down the line open the gates even more so it would be brilliant.

"It is good having football back but obviously that element is missing and it is a huge element in the game that we all want back, and that is the support."

Celtic had their fixtures against St Mirren and Aberdeen postponed earlier this month after defender Boli Bolingoli breached quarantine rules with a secret trip to Spain and subsequently played against Kilmarnock.

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Sturgeon issued a final warning to clubs following the incident, which was condemned by Lennon and club officials.

Eight Aberdeen players were also criticised for visiting a city-centre bar after their opening-day defeat by Rangers on August 1, with two players subsequently testing positive for Covid-19 and the other six being told to self-isolate.

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Celtic boss Neil Lennon says the 6-0 thrashing of KR Reykjavik was much needed after they were forced to postpone games due to Boli Bolingoli breaking COVID-19 guidelines

Lennon confirmed Celtic's disciplinary investigation over Bolingoli's actions had not been completed, meaning the defender's future at the club has not yet been decided.

The possibility of a points deduction has been raised as a potential punishment for Celtic and Aberdeen over infringements of their players with regard to COVID-19 guidelines.

Lennon insisted the Hoops would "take whatever punishment people deem necessary," although he also admitted he felt the club overall had not been at fault.

"It's very difficult sometimes to legislate for the actions of an individual. I think our club has been at the forefront of everything positive about getting the games starting again," he told Sky Sports News.

"We have been working very closely with the [Scottish] government and the joint-response group. We'll take whatever punishment people deem necessary and we'll move on from it and learn from it.

"As far as I'm concerned, the club haven't done a lot wrong."

Celtic 0:45
Celtic winger James Forrest says he cannot wait to see the return of fans back at Celtic Park

Lennon confirms initial Celtic enquiry for Duffy

Shane Duffy has played at Brighton since a move from Blackburn in 2016
Image: Shane Duffy has played at Brighton since a move from Blackburn in 2016

Meanwhile, Lennon has confirmed Celtic have made an initial approach to sign Brighton centre-back Shane Duffy.

The Republic of Ireland international was the subject of talks with West Brom earlier this month ahead of a potential move to the newly-promoted Premier League club.

Duffy, 28, who is also a reported target for West Ham, made 19 Premier League appearances for Brighton last season, but has fallen behind Lewis Dunk and Adam Webster, who are Graham Potter's preferred centre-back pairing.

"We have made tentative enquiries and we'll see how that goes," Lennon told OTB Sports.

Celtic continue their Scottish Premiership campaign against Dundee United at Tannadice on Saturday, live on Sky Sports.

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