Lennon hopes for one final swoop

Celtic target final transfer window swoop for giant Austrian striker Marc Janko

Celtic boss Neil Lennon hopes to pull off one final deadline-busting swoop to sign giant Austrian striker Marc Janko.

Record Sport claim Parkhead chief executive Peter Lawwell was locked in talks with FC Twente over the weekend in a bid to thrash out a deal for the prolific 6ft 6in hitman.

Celtic – who yesterday lined up a League Cup Final clash with Kilmarnock by seeing off Falkirk – have agreed a deal to land Trabzonspor striker Pawel Brozek on loan but that won’t stop them trying to sign Janko.

However, the chances of the Hoops pulling it off are being complicated.

Porto are also talking to Twente and are prepared to meet the £4.2million asking price, leaving Celtic to pray the Portuguese side’s negotiations fail.

There is also interest in the 28-year-old from the Premier League, with Fulham and Stoke believed to be at the negotiating

table. But it is understood the battle for his signature is between Celtic and Porto.

Sources in Holland believe at least two firm offers have been tabled and stress Celtic are in the thick of the battle to land the player with a spectacular scoring record.

Janko hit 75 goals in 108 games with Red Bull Salzburg in Austria before moving to Holland for £4.5m in 2010.

Twente are keen to recoup as much as possible of that but may be prepared to send him on loan until summer then thrash out a deal.

He has bagged 24 goals in 44 games for the Dutch club and still has more than two years left on his contract.

Twente are willing to let him move on in search of a regular starting place and the striker knows he would be almost guaranteed that
at Parkhead.

But Lennon is concerned the price could go sky high because of the competition.

The Celtic boss tied up a loan move for Brozek over the weekend but last night denied he signed the Polish international to spite Rangers.

The 28-year-old was on the Ibrox wish list but decided to join Celtic instead and yesterday watched his new club triumph over Falkirk.

But Lennon insisted he was more interested in furthering Celtic’s cause than bothering Rangers with his transfer dealings.

After Scott Brown’s penalty and Anthony Stokes’ double saw off the Bairns, he said: “There have been players we’ve lost out on to Rangers but that’s not why we were interested in Pawel.

“Anthony scored twice today but we can’t keep relying on him and Gary Hooper up front. What if they were to get injured?

“Pawel scored a lot of goals in Polish football and he has the Euro 2012 finals in his sights. They’re taking place in his country and he needs to stake a claim for a place.

“He will be highly motivated when he plays for us and once we check on his match fitness he could be ready to play straight away.”

Lennon revealed he had a private chat with Stokes on Friday and the Irishman responded to what was said with the goals that helped carry his side to the final.

The manager said: “I had to tell Anthony I was pleased with his scoring rate but I felt his general play could improve. He needed to smarten up and he did.

“But I’m not dangling Pawel in front of him and Gary as a threat to their places.”

Lennon reckoned Celtic dominated against Falkirk but blamed Hampden’s vast expanse of empty seats for the less-than-enthralling atmosphere.

He said: “The final against Kilmarnock will be different but a semi-final in a vast ground with 20,000 empty seats meant the occasion lacked atmosphere.

“We had control of the game and I can measure that by the chances we had which hit the post and bar. We were well on top.

“We even had a goal chalked off for offside that was perfectly good and we’ve found a new penalty taker.

“Scott’s had his hand up to take them for ages and I was delighted with him. He’s invaluable to us.”

Lennon had a touchline bust-up with Falkirk assistant Alex Smith after Celtic’s second goal but played down the incident.

He said: “I felt Falkirk were contesting every decision the referee made but I shook hands with Alex after the final whistle and there’s no problem between us.”