PADDY To ENd CELTIC CAREER

Dublin Super Cup, Aviva Stadium 31/7/2011'Glasgow Celtic vs Airtricity League XI'Celtic's Paddy McCourt appaulds the fans after the game 'Mandatory Credit �INPHO/Ryan Byrne
Dublin Super Cup, Aviva Stadium 31/7/2011'Glasgow Celtic vs Airtricity League XI'Celtic's Paddy McCourt appaulds the fans after the game 'Mandatory Credit �INPHO/Ryan Byrne

PADDY McCourt has made his final appearance for Celtic having entered Sunday’s Scottish Cup Final victory over Hibernian in the 88th minute at Hampden Park.

And while the 29-year-old Derry man will be disappointed at ending his five year stay in Glasgow, he does have options to further his career elsewhere.

Having joined Celtic in 2008 under then boss, Gordon Strachan, the “Derry Pele” had struggled with minor injury problems which severely restricted his starting appearances to just 19 games during those five years.

This season, the talented midfielder has represented Celtic on a total of 18 occasions, starting just three of those matches.

The player’s contract expires this week but it was clear that his omission from Celtic’s Champions’ League squad for the last 16 clashes against Juventus signalled the end of his career at Parkhead.

Indeed, having entered the cup final at the expense of winger, James Forrest, with just two minutes remaining, Joe Ledley presented the Derry man with the captain’s armband, another incident suggesting that he was making his final appearance in the hooped shirt.

It’s believed that McCourt does have options in England with speculation pointing to Hull City, Crystal Palace and Norwich City.

Celtic hoping to make James a Bhoy?

Meanwhile, another former Derry City player has been linked with the SPL “double” winners this week, with speculation that Neil Lennon has expressed an interest in the future of Sunderland’s James McClean.

Having left the Brandywell club in the summer of 2011, the Creggan man’s second season on Wearside has been disappointing with no shortage of controversy having had an unsettling effect.

However, it now appears that new boss, Paolo Di Canio, has identified new targets and Celtic are believed to be watching developments.