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Page last updated at 11:45 GMT, Saturday, 26 July 2008 12:45 UK

Celtic look to offload Gravesen

Thomas Gravesen and Derek Riordan
Gravesen and Riordan are on the fringes of the Celtic first team

Celtic manager Gordon Strachan says he will not play Thomas Gravesen because the Dane does not fit into his system.

And the former Real Madrid and Everton midfielder - along with forward Derek Riordan - has been told he is unlikely to feature for the first team again.

"We tried our best to get a system which suited Thomas and it hasn't worked," said Strachan, who is keen to move both players on.

"It was the system to blame, not the player or the club."

Gravesen, who arrived from the Santiago Bernabeu for 2m in 2006, has been training with Celtic's reserves after returning from a season-long loan at former club Everton.

Strachan claims he has tried and failed to incorporate the 32-year-old Dane, who is in the last year of his contract, into his line-up.

"I spoke to Thomas and told him he won't play for us because of the system we play," said the manager.

"He would rather play in a system that suits him and we can't change our style of play to suit one player.

"Thomas has been good about it and understands the situation. It's a football thing and not a personal issue."

MY SPORT: DEBATE

Strachan says it is a different situation with Riordan, who has made just 29 appearances since arriving from Hibernian in 2006.

"Derek wants to go away and try something else and we're not going to stop him," said the manager.

"But we can't just let him walk out the door."

Leeds United and Burnley are among the clubs who have expressed a recent interest in the 25-year-old forward.

Celtic have already made it known that defender Bobo Balde, who - like Gravesen - is among the top earners at the club, can leave on a free transfer.


see also
Celtic to release Balde on free
16 Jul 08 |  Celtic
Everton re-sign Gravesen on loan
30 Aug 07 |  Everton


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