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Last Updated: Friday, 7 April 2006, 13:58 GMT 14:58 UK
Strachan says Hartson can leave
John Hartson celebrates winning the title
John Hartson was close to tears after clinching the title
Gordon Strachan says John Hartson will be allowed to leave Celtic in the summer if the striker feels his family problems demand a move from Scotland.

The 31-year-old has split with his wife, who has returned to their native Wales with his two children.

And his manager said: "It's up to him. I think players always decide this whether they have a contract or not.

"In a way, I can understand his position. We all make our bed and have to lie in it."

Hartson had admitted after Celtic clinched the Scottish title on Wednesday that he might wish to leave, despite having a year of his contract still to run.

"We will certainly have to have a look at it and sit down with John and see what he wants to do," said Strachan.
It would break my heart to leave
John Hartson

Hartson said: "I'm just like any other father who wants to see his kids growing up.

"But I also realise that Celtic is my career and my life.

"I haven't really given it a lot of thought as I just wanted to do my job and help Celtic win the league.

"Now that's done, I'll sit down with the manager and my representative in the next few weeks and decide what is best for both parties.

"I know the manager has strikers coming in next season and has young strikers pushing for places and I want to know how big a part he thinks I will play next season.

"But, if I decide to go, there has to be some other club wanting to pay for me.

"Fortunately, I have already tasted Champions League football and had five years of playing for the Old Firm.

"I'm satisfied with my contribution and, if I do go, I think I can go with my head held high.

"But I don't to think back in a few months and think I ought to have stayed.

"The only reason I would even think about leaving a club like this is my kids."

Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell said this week that he hoped to hold talks with Hartson in the next couple of months.

Meanwhile, Strachan said he knew of no unhappiness at Celtic on the part of Shunsuke Nakamura.

One newspaper report had quoted the midfielder saying that he might decide to leave after representing Japan at the World Cup finals in the summer.

But, in a rival newspaper, he had said that he was looking forward to playing for Celtic in next season's Champions League.




WATCH AND LISTEN
News conference: Celtic boss Gordon Strachan



SEE ALSO
Hartson hints at summer departure
05 Apr 06 |  Scottish Premier
Celtic 1-0 Hearts
05 Apr 06 |  Scottish Premier
Hartson retires from Wales duties
06 Feb 06 |  Internationals
Pompey give up on Hartson chase
30 Jan 06 |  Celtic


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