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pay the piper

Lennon: Ki sale to help fund Celtic debt

The Celtic boss is hoping his club will receive £6M for the South Korean, but doesn’t expect to reinvest it.

CELTIC MANAGER NEIL Lennon has said funds from Ki Sung-Yueng’s impending departure to Swansea will be used to ease the club’s debts.

The Scottish giants are in advanced negotiations with Swansea over a fee for their South Korean midfielder and it is believed both sides will settle on a figure between five and six million pounds in the coming days.

Lennon is fully aware of the club’s precocious financial position and understands with debts standing at as much as seven million pounds, the offer was too good to turn down from a financial sense.

When quizzed on the deal for Ki, Lennon told the press: “It will help fund the debt, we have to get the debt down a little bit so that will help towards that.

“We will see where we go after these two games and see what money we have to spend, if any at all. I might not (get the Ki money). I might get some of it, I don’t know. One, I don’t know what the fee will be and two, I don’t know how much we will use to service the debt.

“It is unfortunate to lose a quality player but that has been our strategy at the club for the last two or three years, cultivate these players and eventually move them on if they want to go.”

A win in their Champions League play-off against Helsingborgs on Tuesday will go some way to off-setting the club’s debts but Lennon, who could be boosted by the return of Scott Brown, James Forrest and Gary Hooper respectively, refutes suggestions the Swedish outfit can be considered favourable opposition for his men.

He said: “We have been together two years and a lot of players know we haven’t done as well as we maybe should have. We got through a tough tie in Helsinki and that will give the players a lot of confidence. They all want to play Champions League football but we have two difficult games to overcome before we can start talking about that.”

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