Kilmarnock manager worried as Celtic reportedly target Stephen O'Donnell

Celtic fans show their support prior to the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match between Celtic and Hearts at Celtic Park on May 19, 2019 in Glasgow, Scotland.

Scottish Premiership champions Celtic reportedly want to bring Stephen O'Donnell back to Parkhead from Angelo Alessio's Killie.

Stephen O'Donnell of Kilmarnock during the UEFA Champions League Qualification first leg match between Connah's Quay Nomads and Kilmarnock on July 11, 2019 in Rhyl, Wales.

Kilmarnock manager Angelo Alessio has admitted that he is desperate to hang onto contract rebel Stephen O’Donnell with Celtic apparently eyeing a cut-price deal for the Scotland international, speaking to the Daily Record (live blog, 2.46pm).

With Kieran Tierney on his way to Arsenal, much focus will be on Celtic’s attempts to secure a new left-back before the Scottish transfer window shuts at the end of the month. But strengthening on the opposition flank is equally important.

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Yes, Hatem Abd Elhamed has started impressively since his arrival from Hapoel Be’er Sheva but the departures of Mikael Lustig, Jeremy Toljan and Cristian Gamboa means Celtic are a little short of depth on the right-hand side.

 

Yet that could soon change. The Daily Record claims that Celtic want to bring back O’Donnell, who spent two years in their academy between 2009 and 2011.

According to the Evening Express, 27-year-old has rejected the chance to extend a contract which is currently due to expire in 2020, although Alessio is not giving up just yet.

a Scottish defensive wall formed of Johnny Russel, Oliver Burke and Stephen O'Donnell during the UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying match between Belgium and Scotland at King Baudouin Stadium on...

“Obviously I want him to extend his contract long term but he is still discussing it with the club,” Alessio said.

“For me, it’s a situation that’s strange as we have now started the season and Stephen has a one-year contract. I think the better moment to extend his contract was before now.

“At 27 years old he is a good player, he can play for many, many years. I hope he will sign again.”

If no breakthrough is made between now and the end of August, Killie will have a decision to make. Do they keep O’Donnell and risk losing him on a free? Or sell before it is too late for a cut-price fee?

Alfredo Morelos of Rangers vies with Gary Dicker and Stephen O'Donnell of Kilmarnock during the Scottish Cup 5th Round Replay between Rangers and Kilmarnock at Ibrox Stadium on February 20,...

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