By Noel Whelan

21st Sep, 2020 | 4:00pm

'I am sure...' - Exclusive: Whelan drops major Edouard claim after Celtic development

Noel Whelan expects Odsonne Edouard to hold talks with Celtic manager Neil Lennon after he was an unused substitute for the win against Livingston.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, the former Aberdeen and Leeds United forward claimed that it had been a “strange weekend” for the 22-year-old.

Edouard watched on from the bench as the Hoops survived a late scare to beat Livingston 3-2 at Celtic Park and move within one point of Rangers with a game in hand.

The centre-forward’s future has been the subject of great speculation this summer after a prolific 2019/20 campaign in which he scored 27 goals in 45 appearances.

Lennon revealed that Edouard was “struggling” last week and that he took the decision not to play him to protect the player from suffering another injury.

Whelan expects the French striker to start the midweek Europa League clash against Riga.

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“It has been a bit of a strange weekend for Odsonne Edouard,” he told Football Insider.

“We do not know the ins and out of why he was left out or what has gone on but I don’t think it will be happy news for Neil Lennon or happy news for the club. I am sure there will be a conversation between them.

“I very much doubt that he will be left out of the next game.”

When speaking on the speculation that still surround the striker’s future, Lennon said: “He is not for sale. A lot of this rumbling behind the scene is speculation just now.

“There is a contingency and there will be a lot of talk about Odsonne. We just want him fit and ready for Thursday.”

In other Celtic news, it can be REVEALED that the Hoops have been beaten in race to sign 23-year-old after rival £3m bid is accepted.