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Thursday 8 December 2016

Former West Ham star Carlton Cole on the verge of a move to Celtic, reveals Ronny Deila

Carlton Cole's contract with West Ham has not been extended
Carlton Cole's contract with West Ham has not been extended

Ronny Deila has revealed Carlton Cole will train with Celtic next week with a view to signing for the Parkhead club.

The 31-year-old striker, a free agent after being released by West Ham, was at Parkhead to see the Hoops thrash Dundee 6-0 in a one-sided Ladbrokes Premiership clash.

Goals from Tom Rogic and Leigh Griffiths gave the champions a 2-0 interval advantage which should have been more.

Left-back Emilio Izaguirre scored twice in six second-half minutes before missing a penalty for his hat-trick and then skipper Scott Brown and substitute Nadir Ciftci added late goals.

Boss Deila, who celebrates his 40th birthday on Monday, "was very happy about the performance" and explained the situation with Cole, who has seven England caps.

He said: "He was here to look at the game, to get to know us and see the city and club.

"We will have talks with him and see him in training as well, this week I think, and we will see if it is something that will happen or not.

"It is not (a trial), he has been in London his whole life, so he has to see what he is coming to and then we will see if it is something that he likes and we like as well.

"I think he is very good football player and he shown in the Premier League and also the Championship that he can score goals and he is different to what we have.

"He is a target man, very good in the air and strong and that is something that, if everything fits, could be good for us."

The Norwegian was able to joke about Izaguirre blasting his penalty high over the bar with the fans waiting to witness an unlikely hat-trick by the Honduras defender.

"I haven't seen many worse penalties in my life," said Deila.

"There was too much pressure, he had to wait a few seconds and I think he was thinking too much.

"We could have scored much more and that is a good thing when you win 6-0."

Deila was pleased with Ciftci's first goal for the Parkhead club, saying: "It has taken some time. But he was out through suspension and that made it hard for him.

"We know what kind of qualities he has, he worked really hard today and he got rewarded with a goal.

"Hopefully this is the first of many. We know he has a lot to give to the team."

Celtic remain five points behind leaders Aberdeen, who won 3-1 at Hearts earlier in the day but the former Stromsgodset boss remains relaxed with only eight games played.

He said: "It is too early to talk about the league but you have to put in good performance and win games. In the end we will see who is the best team."

Dundee manager Paul Hartley admitted that his side should be embarrassed by the result and gave pass marks only to keeper Scott Bain, who kept the score beneath double figures.

The former Celtic midfielder said: "It was a poor performance. It was unacceptable. It was a really bad day that we had.

"We had one performer and that was the goalkeeper. If it wasn't for him it could have been more.

"We had 10 players off it and I think the players know that because they have been good for the majority of the season.

"We have got to regroup again, be embarrassed by the performance, that's for sure, because it wasn't acceptable."

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