Rodgers faced with first challenge as Celtic boss as English club ready bid for striker - report
By Coral Barry
Birmingham are ready to launch a bid for Celtic’s Anthony Stokes after he helped Hibernian to a famous Scottish Cup final victory, according to a report.
Stokes, 27, tucked away a respectable ten goals in all competitions while on loan with Hibs for the second half of last season, including a double in the cup final, and Birmingham have now moved to acquire his services.
The Scotsman claim no formal offer has been made, but that it is just a matter of time before the Championship club make their move.
Stokes joined Celtic from Hibs six years ago, but has often been guilty of attracting bad press in that time with his most recent incident coming in December when he was suspended for two weeks after criticising then manager Ronny Deila on Twitter.
The trouble resulted in Celtic shipping him out on loan to Hibernian, but the Republic of Ireland international has spoken about his desire to return to the club and be part of Brendan Rodgers’ new look side.
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Rodgers is expected to significantly trim a 30-plus strong Celtic squad with as much as 12 players believed to be facing the axe.
Stokes’ contract is due to expire this week, but the Hoops have the option of a one-year extension and could exercise that clause in order to command a fee for the striker.
Birmingham are believed to have made capturing a striker their main priority this summer as they look to put themselves in contention for promotion into the Premier League next season.
In other Celtic news, the Hoops are due to do battle with Rangers for another Ireland international.