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Last Updated: Friday, 1 September 2006, 00:20 GMT 01:20 UK
Lennon to stay until next summer
Celtic captain Neil Lennon
Neil Lennon thinks he can play beside Thomas Gravesen
Celtic skipper Neil Lennon is adamant he will be staying with the Scottish champions until the end of the season.

The 35-year-old midfielder had been linked with deadline-day transfers to Sunderland and Crystal Palace.

But Lennon has been assured by manager Gordon Strachan he is part of his plans having signed a one-year contract.

"People talk about Thomas Gravesen signing being the beginning of the end for me, but I still feel I have got a big part to play here," said Lennon.

He was speaking at the launch of his autobiography, "Man and Bhoy", and a day after Gravesen arrived from Real Madrid for 2m.

"I have been assured by the manager that I have a big part to play this season and that was the reason I signed another year," he said. "I had offers elsewhere at that time."
One of the reasons Thomas Gravesen has come here is to play in a more attacking role

Neil Lennon

And he is refusing to rule out the possibility of playing on for a further season - even at Celtic.

"This is probably my last season here," he said.

"I do want to play on and if I am still feeling good then fantastic.

"I was in a similar situation at the start of this season and I signed another year.

"If I feel as fit as I do now, maybe I could look to try playing on here or elsewhere.

"But, if not, I might just hang up the boots and start taking my coaching badges."

Lennon believes Gravesen is the perfect replacement for Stilian Petrov, sold to Aston Villa.

"One of the reasons he has come here is to play in a more attacking role because that's his nature," he said.

"If he is asked to play a holding role by the manager then that would be no problem for him, but he is coming here to be more of an attack-minded midfield player.

"I don't see why we can't both play in the centre because this has come up before with Paul Lambert and Roy Keane and I am still here, but that's because I am younger than them.

"When he played for Everton, Lee Carsley was the holding midfield player and he had one of his best seasons, which got him the move to Real Madrid.

"I'm not sure whether Madrid stifled him or took a wee bit of an edge off him because they have so many attacking midfielders. Maybe they didn't really know his strengths.

"But I have seen Thomas play that attacking role for Denmark and for Real Madrid and he has done really well."

SEE ALSO
Celtic 2-1 Hibernian
26 Aug 06 |  Scottish Premier


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