Date: 4th April 2007 at 1:52pm
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Celtic have rejected a bid from Mo Johnston’s Toronto FC to sign young defender John Kennedy – who has not played for the Hoops since March 2004.

The 23-year-old destroyed his knee when he made his Scotland debut against Romania and has been working hard to return to the first-team picture ever since.

According to Johnston, the major stumbling block was the artificial pitch Toronto play their MLS games on – apparently such a surface would increase the chances of Kennedy injuring his knee again.

Johnston told the Toronto Sun: “We would have been giving him the opportunity to continue his recovery at a very high level. I spoke with Gordon and John’s agent and everyone was up for it until we mentioned our stadium has a plastic pitch.

“They took advice from the specialist and the word then came back that he could not be risked on that surface at this stage of his career.”

However, Gordon Strachan has confirmed that he would like Kennedy to play some football in the summer, and that a number of clubs have already enquired about a short-term deal.

He told the Celtic View: “A couple of people have asked about getting him on loan, but John and I have spoken about trying to get summer football for him. At this point in time, that’s what we’re trying to do.”

Whether Kennedy will be able to reach the levels that impressed fans and pundits before his injury remains to be seen, but it’s great to see the club are taken whatever steps are needed to give him the best possible chance.

Though it could be argued that Celtic’s defence is not the biggest concern – as the midfield have constantly struggled to perform as a unit this season and the strikers have not been able to find the net with any real consistency.

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