In a new exclusive interview with The Scottish Mail on Sunday, Celtic attacker Scott Sinclair has admitted he is looking for a January fresh start away from the club so he can play more football (15/12 print edition, back page, pgs 118 & 119).
The winger has been largely sidelined by manager Neil Lennon since the summer, with the Hoops boss preferring to pursue options such as Mohamed Elyounoussi, Mikey Johnston and even Lewis Morgan ahead of the Englishman.
Sinclair has remained patient and professional throughout, but it seems that he is now thinking about moving on to pastures new, despite an inherent desire to stay and fight for his place.
Admitting he’s not enjoyed his reduced role in the team, the 30-year-old has opened up on the last few months at the Bhoys.
When asked by The Scottish Mail on Sunday (15/12 print edition, back page, pgs 118 & 119) whether next month’s transfer window offers him a potential fresh start, he said: “Yeah, that’s it. I just want to play, everyone who knows me aware of that.
“I haven’t really spoken to the manager about leaving. If it was my choice, I would love to stay and fight for a position. But this has been tough. I want to play football. I want to enjoy my football again.
“I just try to be professional. It’s very difficult to have done what I’ve done over the last three years and then all of a sudden be pushed to the side.
“You come in every day and sometimes you’re not with the team, not travelling to games and not involved. Some days you are training with the reserves. That’s very difficult.”
Is mutual termination on the cards?
With no club apparently interested in signing him during the summer window, is it time to come to a mutual parting of the ways in January?
Not only may it save Celtic a bit of cash, but it would allow the player to move and find a club with any interested parties having to deal with the Scottish champions.
If his priority truly is regular football, then it could be best for all parties. He’s only contracted to the club until the end of the season anyway.
His solitary start this term came against Cluj on Thursday but that seemed a token gesture in a meaningless game more than a sign that Lennon is preparing to use him more. It’s not as if he turned in a classic display either.
Beyond the healthy wages he is probably earning, there is sympathy for Sinclair’s position, but Lennon is also right to pursue other talents if he feels it’s best for the long-term development of his side.
Sinclair’s contributions to our ‘treble treble’ success will always be fondly remembered but it’s time for him, and us, to move on.