Football: Stubbs denies rumours of Everton move

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ALAN STUBBS has underlined his commitment to Celtic amid rumours that he is poised to move back to his native Merseyside and join Everton.

The Kirkby-born defender insisted he has no intention of quitting Parkhead despite admitting last week that he would consider returning south if it would advance his England ambitions. Stubbs is currently battling to shake off a groin injury that forced him to miss Tuesday's Uefa Cup draw with FC Zurich, but yesterday he stressed that remarks attributed to him about his future had been overstated.

"I was asked if playing in Scotland was damaging my chances of playing for England and I gave an honest answer," he said. "All I said was that if someone from the England set-up said playing here was harming my chances of playing for my country then I would give it some thought.

"I think people are making more of this because they simply have nothing else to do. I was supposed to be away last year, according to some stories, and here I am. The fact is I'm enjoying my football and I still want to win things here." Stubbs, 27, added that he was oblivious to any interest from south of the border. "I can assure the fans I've never had [general manager] Jock Brown or anyone else come to me with any news of a transfer," he said.

The former Bolton defender will again be absent from the Celtic defence for Saturday's Premier League game with Aberdeen. Other Celtic injury problems concern Danish defender Marc Rieper, who will enter hospital today for ankle surgery that will rule him out for a minimum of four weeks, and the Dutch winger Regi Blinker, who is still several weeks away from a return after tearing a groin muscle.