Celtic could be preparing for Odsonne Edouard exit, says Athletic reporter

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The return of the new season could see history made in the Scottish Premiership.

Celtic, who have enjoyed nine years of dominance up until this point, have aspirations of recording a 10th successive league title to cap of a decade of domination.

Doing this would be the ultimate landmark and something which supporters of the Bhoys would look back on in years to come as an era of true dominance.

Of course Rangers FC have aspirations of halting this achievement, but the feeling is that the title is very much Celtic's to lose.

If Neil Lennon's side are to do this, then there's no room for complacency.

That means that strengthening in the transfer market is an absolute must.

Incomings are what supporters want to see, but in truth it's arguably more important that the club keeps hold of their star players in order to keep improving.

Several players have already been linked with a move away, but most notably Odsonne Edouard.

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The 24-year-old scored 21 goals in 27 appearances last term, leading to links with a move to Arsenal and Leicester City in the Premier League.

Those reports have been heightened by ongoing speculation regarding Celtic's interest in Ivan Toney - something that The Athletic's Celtic correspondent Kieran Devlin fears could pave the way for a big-money departure for Edouard.

Asked about the fear of losing Edouard this summer, Devlin said: "I do share that fear, and I doubt Celtic would sanction that level of outlay for Toney (potentially breaking their transfer record in the process) unless it was for Edouard's replacement.

"However, it could be that Celtic are being proactive and bringing in Edouard's replacement a year early."

He added: "I'm not sure how many permanent transfers will happen outside of the big three that are attracting attention in (Odsonne Edouard, (Kristoffer) Ajer or (Olivier) Ntcham.

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"All three might stay, but I'd be slightly surprised if one of them didn't go - but that's down to a cynical hunch, I'm not privy to any info yet on that front though!"

GIVEMESPORT'S Phil Spencer says...

Celtic supporters will be praying for the day that the summer transfer window slams shut.

Speculation regarding Odsonne Edouard's future has dominated the back pages for months, and it appears that nothing is going to change any time soon.

The Bhoys are hopeful that the 24-year-old will agree to stick around for one more season at least, however the ongoing reports suggest that he'd prefer a move away.

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Should a deal to sell the striker materialise then I'm sure Neil Lennon will be hoping to get it done soon.

That way the club can use the funds to go out and purchase a suitable replacement.

If they hang around for too long then that's less likely to happen, and the last thing that Celtic want is to be without a goalscorer in such a crucial season for the club.

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