Celtic deny Collins wants to move

Scottish football
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The Independent Online
Scottish football

Tommy Burns, the Celtic manager, yesterday denied that midfielder John Collins has asked for a transfer. Several English Premier League clubs are said to want Collins, who will be out of contract at the end of the season. It had been suggested his sale for about pounds 3m would fund other signings.

"John Collins has not asked Celtic for a transfer. It says a lot for him that he is not letting all the speculation affect him," said Burns, who learned yesterday that Celtic would have to pay pounds 380,000 for the defender John Hughes. Celtic offered pounds 200,000 in a tribunal, while Falkirk wanted pounds 700,000.

Burns has three injury worries for today's match away to Hearts with Pierre Van Hooijdonk, Andreas Thom and Phil O'Donnell doubtful. Hearts are likely to drop goalkeeper Henry Smith after his mistakes in their Coca-Cola Cup defeat at Dundee. Craig Nelson stands by while Allan Johnston should return.

Aberdeen travel to Kilmarnock with goalkeeper Theo Snelders ready to return after mising their cup victory at Motherwell because his wife was having a baby.