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Monday 21 August 2017

Celtic hope to bring Roberts back on loan

Patrick Roberts
Patrick Roberts

Celtic coach John Kennedy admits the Parkhead club will have to be patient in their pursuit of Patrick Roberts.

Reports this week suggested Hoops boss Brendan Rodgers had moved ahead of the pack in his quest to secure a second loan stint for the Manchester City winger.  Southampton and Nice are also interested in the 20-year-old wide player following his part in the Scottish champions' undefeated campaign last year. 

The Parkhead side are just as determined to lure Roberts back to Glasgow as they plot their return to the Champions League group stages.  But Kennedy confessed Celtic will just have to keep their fingers crossed while City and Roberts weigh up their next move. 

"We just have to be patient on it," he said.

"We've made them aware that Patrick had a fantastic time here and there is a lot of admiration for him from our end. 

"But Manchester City have him under contract and Patrick has to be involved in that decision as well. We just have to be patient and see if something materialises on it. 

"But at the moment nothing is really happening on it." 

Celtic face a busy week as they prepare to face Partick Thistle in Scottish Premiership action at Firhill tonight  Rodgers' side then take on Kilmarnock on Saturday week. Eboue Kouassi will sit out Celtic's clash tonight - but the Hoops are confident his knee injury is not as bad as first feared. 

The Ivorian had to be carried off during his side's five-goal romp over Kilmarnock on Tuesday but while he has yet to undergo a scan, the Parkhead medical team are hopeful he is not facing a long-term lay-off. 

Skipper Scott Brown is back from suspension for the Firhill trip while a host of first-team stars are set to return after Rodgers made eight changes for their midweek Betfred Cup triumph.

Defenders Erik Sviatchenko and Dedryck Boyata (both knee) and striker Moussa Dembele (hamstring) remain out. Meanwhile, Shaun Maloney will now join his old Parkhead team-mate John Kennedy on Rodgers' back-room staff and the former Scotland defender reckons Maloney is just the man to inspire the next generation of Hoops heroes. 

"I think he will bring a lot," said Kennedy. "He is a guy who brings a wealth of experience in terms of him starting at the club as a young player, moved into the first team and became very successful."

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