Celtic in­sist Gor­don’s not for sale after Chelsea bid

Park­head keeper is top of Conte’s list but Scot­tish cham­pi­ons are not in­ter­ested

The Herald - Herald Sport - - FRONT PAGE - ALISON McCONNELL

CELTIC main­tained last night that Craig Gor­don is not for sale as Chelsea had an open­ing bid for the player re­jected by the Park­head side.

Sources within the club have in­sisted that the Scot­land in­ter­na­tion­al­ist is a player they want to keep at the club with a firm not-for-sale mantra is­sued.

Chelsea are in the process of look­ing for a back-up to Thibaut Cour­tois as Bournemouth have tabled a £10 mil­lion bid for No.2 keeper As­mir Be­govic. The Stam­ford Bridge club will not re­lease Be­govic un­til it has se­cured his re­place­ment.

The ini­tial bid for the 34-year-old is be­lieved to be sub­stan­tially be­low Celtic’s val­u­a­tion for the player, whom the club have an op­tion to trig­ger a fur­ther year on his ex­ist­ing deal which would equate to 18-months left on his cur­rent con­tract.

How­ever, while Celtic are re­sis­tant to of­fers for Gor­don, it is un­der­stood that pri­vately the player him­self is piqued by the in­ter­est shown in him by An­to­nio Conte. It is also un­der­stood that Gor­don first came to the at­ten­tion of the Lon­don club in March 2015.

Gor­don be­came first choice un­der man­ager Ronny Deila and has helped Celtic win two Premier­ship ti­tles and the League Cup in 2015 and 2016. When Bren­dan Rodgers suc­ceeded Deila in May, the North­ern Ir­ish­man signed Dutch keeper Dorus de Vries and Gor­don briefly lost his place in the team.

How­ever, Gor­don has started all of Celtic’s games since late Septem­ber and went on to win his 45th in­ter­na­tional cap in Scot­land’s 3-0 loss to Eng­land in Novem­ber at Wem­b­ley.

Mean­while, Celtic tar­get Henry Onyekuru – who has been ac­cused of go­ing Awol over the past 24 hours from Bel­gium – has hit out at club KAS Eu­pen, in­sist­ing they are try­ing to force him to change agents and sign for CSKA Moscow.

Talk­ing to african­foot­ball.com, Onyekuru said: “Eu­pen are act­ing funny on my trans­fer.

“They promised to let me move in Jan­uary if I have a good of­fer, now there are good of­fers but they now want me to sign for their own agent and they want me to sign for CSKA Moscow which I am not in­ter­ested in.”

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