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Page last updated at 10:06 GMT, Monday, 26 July 2010 11:06 UK

Goalkeeper David James delays Celtic signing talks

Celtic are in with a shout of signing England World Cup goalkeeper David James
James played in three of England's four matches at the World Cup

England World Cup goalkeeper David James has delayed a visit to Glasgow for possible signing talks with Celtic because of a family issue.

Manager Neil Lennon considers the 39-year-old to be the ideal replacement for Artur Boruc, now at Fiorentina.

Sunderland manager Steve Bruce told BBC Newcastle he had spoken with James' representatives about a possible move to cover for the injured Craig Gordon.

James' former club Portsmouth withdrew an offer they made to him in May.

Lennon has Pole Lukasz Zaluska and American Dominic Cervi but wants a major figure in goal as he continues to rebuild the team.

Bruce confirmed his interest in James on Saturday, giving the veteran the opportunity to continue to play in the Premier League in England and reiterated his interest on Monday.

James made 138 appearances for Pompey and, according to club administrator Andrew Andronikou, wanted to be their player-manager.

However, Steve Cotterill was appointed to the Portsmouth hot seat and the Fratton Park side have decided to withdraw the offer they made to their keeper after he failed to commit his future to them.


Chief executive David Lampitt told BBC Radio Solent: "We held out for him for as long as we could but we've got three weeks until the start of the new season and we need to continue the rebuilding process."

Celtic have returned from their pre-season tour of the United States and are preparing for their Champions League third-round qualifying first leg at Sporting Braga on 28 July.

After the player's agent contacted Celtic, Lennon stated: "The fact he is interested is very encouraging from our point of view.

"I want to get the best goalkeeper I possibly can, not only for the league and Europe but also someone who can fill Artur's shoes - and he's one who can.

I'd like to speak to him myself and see what he is thinking

Celtic manager Neil Lennon on veteran goalie David James

"He will come up and have a look and see if he fancies it.

"I'd like to speak to him myself and see what he is thinking but the fact they have made the initial contact is very encouraging."

Despite the apparent interest shown by the 53-time capped keeper, a source at Celtic Park last week described the chances of James signing as "a long-shot".

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see also
Sunderland boss ponders James bid
26 Jul 10 |  Sunderland
Portsmouth withdraw James offer
21 Jul 10 |  Portsmouth
Boruc completes Fiorentina switch
15 Jul 10 |  Celtic
Celtic offer McCourt new contract
19 Jul 10 |  Celtic
Hercules' Samaras bid could fail
19 Jul 10 |  Celtic
James eyes Portsmouth boss role
21 May 10 |  Portsmouth

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