Football

Burnley lead chase for Anthony Stokes of Celtic

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Burnley appear to be ahead of Leeds United and several other Championship outfits in the race to sign Celtic's Anthony Stokes, according to HITC.

The Irishman has struggled in recent times to recapture the form that saw him bag 79 goals in 191 games for Glasgow club, and has subsequently fallen out of favour with manager Ronny Deila.

Stokes, who is 27 years-old, is entering the final year of his current contract and has been told by Celtic that he should seek employment elsewhere, as Deila continues to construct a team of his own making.

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Inquiry

It is alleged that Burnley have made sincere inquiries as to the avaliability, and possible price that Stokes' club would be looking for. Stokes himself is a veteran of ex-Celts manager Neil Lennon - in which he forged a prolific partnership with now Norwich striker Gary Hooper.

However, with a severe dip in form, and Ronny Deila's recent acquisions of Stefan Scepovic and Nadir Ciftci, the Republic of Ireland international has found himself very much frozen out as the forgotten man. 

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There is some who say that Stokes could play out on the left in a Ronny Deila 4-3-2-1 formation, although the manager has stuck ever rigidly to Stuart Armstrong ever since his £1.75 million move from Dundee United in January.

Even more so, Deila would like to put his own stamp on the team and in order to free up cash, he must rid his current squad of all deadwood; which includes Stokes.

Burnley seem to be the most keen on the striker, however there is interest from Leeds United and Bolton, but a reunion with his old boss could be hard as Lennon is under brutal financial constraints. 

Pastures New

In no uncertain terms, Anthony Stokes is as good as gone, with Celtic eager to trim their squad size and supplement the rest with youngsters. The only thing that is not clear yet is just who, in fact, he will join come September 1st.

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