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Stephen McManus & Danny Fox may stay - Celtic manager

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Mowbray not resigned to players leaving

Celtic manager Tony Mowbray is not resigned to losing defenders Stephen McManus and Danny Fox.

Left-back Fox is having talks with Burnley while captain Stephen McManus is having discussions about a loan switch to Middlesbrough.

However, Mowbray insists both players could stay with the club.

"I am not resigned to losing Stephen," he said. "If nothing happens at Burnley for Danny then there is every chance he will be featuring in the next game."

Fox, 23, signed a four-and-a-half year contract with the Glasgow club in July after leaving Coventry for an undisclosed fee.

He has made 23 appearances for Tony Mowbray's side and won his first Scotland cap in the 3-0 friendly defeat to Wales in Cardiff in November. Born in Cheshire, Fox played for England Under-21s but made the switch through his Scottish grandfather.

It's about flexibility for me and trying to prioritise the squad

Tony Mowbray

"An opportunity has arisen for Danny," Mowbray said.

"He's a player of high quality but I have to make decisions.

"I get on very well with (Burnley manager) Brian Laws, I played with him at Middlesbrough many years ago. We had a conversation and I put the opportunity to Danny. It allows me a bit of flexibility in this window to move things around.

"I have Paul Caddis, Lee Naylor, Darren O'Dea and Mark Wilson, who has played Champions League football at left-back. So there's four players who can play left-back.

"It's about flexibility for me and trying to prioritise the squad."

New Burnley boss Laws has already brought Monaco striker Frederic Nimani in on loan and is seeking further reinforcements in the winter transfer window as they seek to move away from the English Premier League relegation zone.

"We have been working all weekend pursuing a couple of targets and we are closing in on a few," he told the club website.

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"We're delighted at the progress made so far and you never know, there might be one in before Tuesday (when Burnley visit Bolton)."

Former Celtic manager Strachan, now at Boro, has already returned to his former club to take Willo Flood, Barry Robson and Chris Killen to the Riverside Stadium in permanent deals.

And McManus, who has struggled for first-team football since Mowbray took over at Parkhead last summer, could join his former team-mates at the Championship club.

"I think it is an opportunity for him," said Mowbray.

"I will put on record what a fantastic man he is and what a fantastic player he has been for this club and if this deal doesn't happen he will be back on the training ground and striving to get himself in the team.

"He is a great leader of men and they are in shortage but this is an opportunity for him and something that he is exploring and we will wait and see what develops.

"I have just brought in two young centre-halves recently (Josh Thompson and Thomas Rogne), I have brought in Jos Hooiveld, who is left-footed, and I have Darren O'Dea back from Reading.

"If he goes, I'm sure he will do very well. If he doesn't go, as I said, he will be competing to be in the team and I wouldn't put it past Stephen to see him at the heart of our defence for the rest of the season."



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see also
Rasmussen completes Celtic switch
26 Jan 10 |  Celtic
Celtic fail in bids for defenders
24 Jan 10 |  Celtic
Clearing the decks at Celtic
20 Jan 10 |  Celtic
Fox earns first Scotland call-up
01 Oct 09 |  Internationals
Celtic sign Coventry defender Fox
24 Jul 09 |  Celtic


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