The on-off-on again merry-go-round regarding the transfer status of 27-year-old Celtic forward Anthony Stokes and reputed Leeds United interest has taken an ‘on’ turn according to a report in The Scotsman.
All throughout last summer’s transfer window, there was the mooted transfer of Stokes from Celtic to Leeds in many sources, including the Mail Online. The Mail Online said at the time that the Scottish giants were prepared to sell the “unsettled” Republic of Ireland in order to fund a Champions League push. The sale didn’t happen and Stokes stayed noth of the border with the seemingly perennial SPL champions with whom he’s scored 76 goals and created 66 assists in 192 games.
However, Stokes has fallen out of favour at Parkhead and hasn’t appeared in manager Ronnie Delia’s plans since appearing on the bench as an unused substitute for the Motherwell game on October 17; indeed Stokes has only made one appearance in the Scottish Premier League this season. That was a full 90 minutes in a 3-1 Celtic win against Dundee United in Celtic’s 5th game of the season on August 22 where Stokes played on the left wing.
It is thought that Celtic might be looking to offload the 27-year-old striker after a breach in club discipline when Stokes Tweeted out his disappointment at being not named in the squad for the match against Inverness on November 29. Reacting to his omission from the match-day squad, Stokes turned to Twitter and tweeted first the following,
These Tweets caused Celtic manager Ronny Delia to say, “That showed a lack of respect to the other boys. We will handle it inside. We will see what to do.” Ce;tic were true to their word and Stokes was suspended by the club for a fortnight, he hasn’t been in the squad since.
Stokes is out of contract at the end of the season and The Scotsman say that there is other interest in Stokes beside that from Leeds mentioning that even though Bolton may have dropped out “of the race to sign Anthony Stokes but their fellow Championship sides Leeds, Cardiff and Preston are all keeping tabs on the Irishman’s situation.”
That situation, seemingly at the moment, is looking to be a tenuous one at Celtic who may well cash in on any interest in Stokes rather than allow him to stagnate and leave on a free come the summer.