Neil Lennon’s comments yesterday didn’t do much to halt the Greg Taylor to Celtic story.
The Hoops are in need of a replacement for the departed Kieran Tierney. According to the Daily Record, Taylor is high on a shortlist of candidates.
The Kilmarnock man has been a consistent performer for the Ayrshire side. He played a key role for Steve Clarke in qualifying Killie for Europe last season. Despite that, however, he’s struggled to continue that form early on under new manager Angelo Alessio in a troubling start to life under the Italian.
But Celtic manager Lennon was asked about the youngster at his presser yesterday. And, in fairness, the Hoops boss certainly tried to play the cards close to the chest. This is what he had to say via Celtic TV on a potential move for Taylor.
“I’m not going to talk about a player who’s contracted to another club.
“I can’t control the speculation and I can’t control players being linked with us and leaving the club. I’ll only speak when they’re sat here in front of me. I think it’s very unfair to talk about a player when he’s contracted to another club.”
Greg Taylor to Celtic certainly wasn’t rubbished
These comments are more interesting from Lennon than they may seem at face value.
Commenting that he doesn’t want to talk about another player is something that’s becoming a growing trend for managers who don’t want to talk about their transfer targets. It could easily be the case that Lennon wants him in, but can’t give an update on it at the moment.
If Celtic weren’t interested, then just as harmless would’ve been to say that we weren’t looking at him. There. No harm done to us, Kilmarnock, or the player’s reputation.
Lennon has been quick in the past to dismiss transfer rumours as pure speculation when they’re not true. He wasn’t willing to do that with Taylor yesterday, which could suggest something is in the works here.
If Celtic are interested in Taylor, then that’s exactly the kind of response you would expect from Lennon. He wouldn’t want to look foolish and predict how negotiations would go, but he also doesn’t want to dismiss players being linked with the club that are actually true.
You have to read between the lines with these comments. It’s only disrespectful to talk about another player under contract if you’re actively trying to buy them. But dismissing the interest would’ve caused no harm.
Don’t be surprised if there’s something serious in this. We’ll hopefully find out more in the coming days.