Deila gives update on Celtic's Carlton Cole pursuit, claims discussions are ongoing

Carlton Cole

Ronny Deila says Celtic are still talking to Carlton Cole over a possible deal.

Celtic manager Ronny Deila has told Sky Sports that whilst striker Carlton Cole has suffered an injury, talks are ongoing over a permanent deal.

Having failed to land a striker before the transfer deadline, manager Deila is now on the lookout for a new forward - yet, outside of the transfer window, the Bhoys are limited to free transfers.

Currently, the most likely signing would be Carlton Cole. The 31-year-old is a free agent having left West Ham United upon the expiration of his contract earlier this summer, and has so far failed to find a new club.

Yet over the past week, Cole has been training with Celtic in a bid to win a permanent contract with the Bhoys, but his hopes have suffered a blow this week.

Cole suffered an injury in training on Tuesday, and had to be carted off for treatment - meaning a decision over any potential permanent deal could take even longer.

Now, ahead of tonight's Europa League clash with Fenerbahce, Deila has told Sky Sports that Celtic are continuing to talk to Cole over a deal, despite his injury setback.

"Carlton got knock at training. We have to see what injury it is and how long he is going to be out," said Deila. "We don't think it is a big one. He will still train with us and we will see what is happening."

"But we are still talking. The last game he played was at the end of May so whatever happens, it is not a short-term thing, like he will be going in and be fantastic for Celtic at once. He needs to build up his fitness and that is what we are doing now," he added.

Cole would offer plenty to the Celtic side; experience, strength, aerial ability and most importantly goals. At 31, Cole is far from a long-term solution for Deila and Celtic, but the Norwegian boss needs a target man figure in his squad - and Cole certainly fits the bill.

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