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Last Updated: Monday, 23 June, 2003, 17:31 GMT 18:31 UK
Kinkladze waits on Celtic
Giorgi Kinkladze has left Derby
Several clubs are interested in signing Giorgi Kinkladze
Giorgi Kinkladze is hoping to hear in the next three days whether Celtic intend making a firm contract offer.

The Georgia international midfielder has turned down the offer of a new deal with Derby County.

And he would consider a move to Glasgow should Celtic boss Martin O'Neill view him as the kind of midfield playmaker he has been seeking since the departure of Lubo Moravcik.

Kinkladze's agent, Ivan Benes, told BBC Sport: "There has been interest from a number of clubs, but I would rather leave it to them to say who they are if they so wish."

However, it would appear that Celtic have made inquiries through a third party and that Kinkladze is waiting to see if that becomes a firm offer once O'Neill returns from holiday.

If we received an offer for Nobby, we would have to consider it
Newcastle boss Bobby Robson
O'Neill is due back at Celtic Park within the next couple of days, when he is expected to start easing the fears of fans who have become concerned about the lack of summer signings.

Newcastle United midfielder Nolberto Solano is reportedly another possible Celtic target, O'Neill having decided that Spaniard David Fernandez will never fill the gap left by Moravcik.

Magpies boss Sir Bobby Robson admitted for the first time at the weekend that he would be willing to listen to offers for the 28-year-old Peruvian.

"If we received an offer for Nobby, we would have to consider it, but I don't really want him to go," said Robson.

The signings of Lee Bowyer and Darren Ambrose, and the expected arrival of Brett Emerton, have made Solano's first-team place less of a certainty.

So he may be tempted to join the Uefa Cup finalists on another European adventure.

Celtic have also been linked with Argentine playmaker Marcelo Gallardo but may baulk at matching the 3m offered to Monaco by Atletico Madrid.

O'Neill will also have to decide whether to offer goalkeeper Javier Sanchez-Broto a new contract, with the Spaniard, who proved a worthy asset after joining as injury cover, attracting the interest of Ipswich Town.

It is being suggested that the Celtic boss faces competition for the signature of 19-year-old striker Craig Beattie, with his form for Glasgow side's youth side having reportedly attracted a possible 200,000 bid from Tottenham Hotspur.

O'Neill may also rubber stamp the departures of defender Stephen Crainey and midfielder Colin Healy, with Aston Villa being tipped as the most likely destination for both.

Meanwhile, Celtic defender Bobo Balde and midfielder Momo Sylla could face a tiring two seasons without a break due to the success of Guinea in the African Nations Cup.

A 2-1 win over Liberia means that victory against Ethiopia on 6 July will all but guarantee a place at next summer's finals.


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