Date: 29th January 2008 at 8:14am
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Celtic gaffer,Gordon Strachan has been told by Brendan Flood that he will have to fork out over £4 million for Kyle Lafferty, our Northern Ireland International.

This is the latest figure reported by the Times this morning.

It is quite possible this valuation could put a stop to Celtic’s interest although they may play their trump card and also offer Derek Riordan as part of a player/cash deal for Lafferty. Owen Coyle is known to be interested in the striker and is already understood to have had a bid of £400,000 rejected with the Buoys gaffer putting a valuation of £1 million on the player.

Riordan has been unable to establish himself in the Celtic side this season and is understood to be keen to leave the club and recently his agent,Jim McArthur also said the following:

‘The only club to have made an official offer is Burnley for £400,000 plus add-ons.

‘Derek would be very keen to speak with them if an agreement was reached.’

The Scottish champions could be ready to make one final push to get Lafferty before the end of the January transfer window this Thursday, with Derek Riordan becoming a Claret as part of the deal.

The Times also understand that Celtic`s offer is £3 million, with Riordan valued at £500,000.

The Clarets have stuck to their guns over Lafferty in the past and have not been tempted to sell. They have rejected Fulham on a number of occasions with bids believed to have beem made in the £3-4 million region. Lawrie Sanchez of course capped Lafferty a number of times when he was Northern Ireland manager and Fulham’s interest in Lafferty came under his tenure there as gaffer. He has of course since left the London club and no further bids are expected from Craven Cottage.

Burnley turned down a £4 million offer from Fulham last August – when Lawrie Sanchez, who capped Lafferty for Northern Ireland, was in charge of the London club – and the feeling at the Championship side is that they do not have to sell.

Celtic have been interested in Lafferty for a year now originally putting in a paultry £500,000 offer last January.

Will the Clarets be tempted to sell Lafferty for cash and Riordan? Will Celtic be prepared to increase their offer? Will Celtic still be prepared to let Riordan go if they cant negotiate Lafferty coming the other way? Will anything happen at all the the three days remaining of this transfer window? Will the end of January ever come and give some respite to one overworked editor?

Watch this space!