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BACK PAGE BULLETIN: CELTS AT CROSSROADS: DUO’S DILEMMA, BARCA PIP HOOPS FOR DUTCH SUPERKID, ALF SNUBBED, LAFFERTY JOINS NORWEGIAN STRUGGLERS

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SCOTT SINCLAIR and Jonny Hayes are at the crossroads at Celtic with both players making only TWO HOURS AND TEN MINUTES of first team appearances between them this season.

The left-sided double-act have yet to start a competitive game for the eight-in-a-row champions this season.

SINCLAIR, 30, has made four substitute outings for a total of 66 minutes while his only start was the goalless draw against French Cup winners Rennes at the start of last month.

HAYES, 32, has been given the nod by Neil Lennon to play 64 minutes in the top side, despite the team desperate for cover in the No.3 position.

Both have fallen down the pecking order at Parkhead with youngsters Mikey Johnston, Lewis Morgan and Marian Shved ahead of them in the queue for first-team places.

FINAL FLING…Jonny Hayes celebrates with the Scottish Cup after the 2-1 triumph over Hearts.

MAY DAY…Scott Sinclair is delighted as he displays the silverware – his ninth successive honour in three years at the Hoops.

The players were signed by Brendan Rodgers – Sinclair cost £4.5million from Aston Villa and Hayes was a £1.3million purchase from Aberdeen – and they figured in the 2-1 Scottish Cup Final triumph over Hearts on May 25 which sealed the historic treble treble.

Last season, the Englishman made 55 appearances and scored 17 goals while the versatile Republic of Ireland international made 21 outings including nine of the last 11 in the crucial run-in. Both are in the last 12 months of their contracts.

Hayes was linked with a return to Pittodrie where manager Derek McInnes remains an admirer, but the Dons gaffer recently admitted he was satisfied with his squad and didn’t expect to make any additions before Monday’s midnight transfer deadline.

Sinclair was mentioned along with Sheffield United, Derby County and Middlesbrough, but nothing materialised before the window closed on England’s two top-tier divisions earlier this month.

NEIL LENNON has been beaten by Barcelona in his hunt for MVV Maastricht teenage defender Xavier Mbuyamba.

The 19-year-old centre-half was brought to the Hoops’ boss attention after his breakthrough performances at the Dutch outfit.

He played 11 times for the first team last season and is being lined up as a future DR Congo international.

Mbuyamba was due to come out of contract next summer, but the Spanish giants made their move yesterday to seal a four-year deal with the rising star.

ALFREDO MORELOS has been snubbed again by Colombia boss Carlos Queiroz.

The Rangers striker, who is poised to lead Steven Gerrard’s side in the Europa League play-off second leg against Legia Warsaw at Ibrox tomorrow night, has been overlooked for his nation’s squad for the forthcoming friendlies against Brazil and Venezuela.

Morelos’ last call-up came in March where he featured against Japan and South Korea.

But he failed to make the 40-man preliminary squad for the Copa America and has now been omitted from the former Manchester United assistant manager’s latest pool of players.

The prolific hitman, who claimed 30 strikes last season, has already netted nine this time out – but has still failed to impress Queiroz.

KYLE LAFFERTY has completed a shock move to Norwegian club Sarpsborg 08.

The 31-year-old Northern Ireland forward, who was released by Rangers with 12 months still to run on his contract, agreed the switch to the side that are bottom of the Eliteserien having won just two of 19 league games this season.

Lafferty, speaking to the club website, said: “I’m here to score goals and work really hard for the team and club.

“I’ve got a really good impression of the club.”

Lafferty scored six goals in 30 appearances after rejoining the Ibrox side from Hearts in August 2018, but failed to impress Steven Gerrard and his Gers deal was scrapped by mutual consent.

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Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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