Date: 14th May 2009 at 3:40pm
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Ipswich boss Roy Keane is interested in four Celtic players, if reports in the press are to be believed – Paul Hartley, Bobo Balde, Darren O’Dea and Scott McDonald.

Keane was at Parkhead on Tuesday and there was speculation about who he was watching, with some pointing out he could have easily been scouting Dundee United players instead of those on the home team.

However, an article in the Evening Times claims Keane is chiefly interested in Hartley and Balde, who will both be out of contract in the summer, while he “is also thought to be interested” in O’Dea and McDonald. The first two seem far more likely the the other two.

Reports earlier in the month suggested Hartley wanted to stay at Celtic but negotiations had been put off until the end of the season. Newcastle United, currently still in the English Premier League, and German outfit Hannover 96 had both been mooted as possible destinations for the 32-year-old Scotland international.

Bobo Balde reportedly came close to linking-up with Keane when the former Ireland international was manager of Sunderland, but opted to stay with Celtic and see out his contract. Far more could be written about Bobo’s situation, but that can wait until the summer.

Darren O’Dea surely still has something to offer Celtic as he continues to develop and would benefit from more time on the pitch but, Gordon Strachan being Gordon Strachan, that has yet to happen. As for Scott McDonald leaving for Ipswich…no, just no.

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