Collymore's latest exit clears way for Celtic

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The travelling circus that is Stan Collymore's career could make Glasgow its next stop after Leicester City readily accepted the striker's request for a transfer yesterday and Celtic's Martin O'Neill set about preparing an official bid for the player.

The travelling circus that is Stan Collymore's career could make Glasgow its next stop after Leicester City readily accepted the striker's request for a transfer yesterday and Celtic's Martin O'Neill set about preparing an official bid for the player.

O'Neill took Collymore to Leicester to give him a 'final' chance after a problematic time at Aston Villa that was characterised by poor form, mood swings and off-field problems. O'Neill still rates Collymore highly and has a vacancy for a striker now that Mark Burchill has moved to Birmingham City on loan with a view to a permanent transfer.

Collymore said yesterday that he wanted to leave Filbert Street due to frustration at a lack of chances for first-team football. "If you are not playing you do not seem to be in the first XI plans," the 29-year-old former England international, said. "All I want to do, having come back from a broken leg, is to play regular first-team football."

Peter Taylor, Leicester manager's, however, said he had been so unhappy with Collymore's attitude that he had been prepared to terminate the player's contract. Taylor added that Collymore's performance on Sunday against Everton - when he appeared to stamp on and then elbow Paul Gascoigne - had been "the final straw".

"Stan would have to change in many ways to ever play for Leicester City again and I would be surprised if I played him again," Taylor said at a specially convened press conference. ""He was excellent to start with in pre-season training, and everything we tried to do he was first class about.

"I think he was very determined to have a good season because he was disappointed at breaking his leg last season and I was really hopeful everything was going to go very well. But then nine days before the start of the season his advisers asked for very high wages and a new contract.

"As a club we were not prepared to meet those and since that day Stan has not been as positive as he was in the early part of pre-season training. I was very disappointed with that. He could have worked a lot harder and I told him the way he played was not the way he should be performing. I said that if he was going to play like that then it would be in the best interests of Leicester City that he was no longer with us.

"We had a meeting on Monday and we agreed that his contract would be terminated but then his advisers told him instead to go on the transfer list. I could not be more disappointed about how things have worked out because we all know how good a player he can be. I think Leicester City and myself could not have tried any harder to get him to be the player he is but things like getting fit and having the right sort of desire to succeed have to come from him."

The Football Association, meanwhile, confirmed yesterday that three members of its video advisory panel will this week review Collymore's tangle with Gascoigne before deciding whether to recommend any action is taken. "We have requested the video which we are going to distribute to three members of the panel," an FA spokesman said.

Taylor stressed his thinking had nothing to do with the incident involving Gascoigne. "Stan feels that he perhaps fancied going abroad for the next two or three years," Taylor said. "I think he is looking to end his career abroad. I don't know if anyone would take a chance on him in this country. All I know is that everyone has bent over backwards to make him happy here."

THE UPS AND DOWNS OF STAN COLLYMORE

1971: Born Stone, Staffordshire, 22 January.

1989: Joined Conference club Stafford Rangers, scoring eight goals in first season.

1990: Moved to Crystal Palace for £100,000. Made six league appearances as substitute in first season.

1992: Left Palace for Southend (November) for £80,000, and scored 18 goals in 33 games .

1993: Nottingham Forest manager Brian Clough refuses to pay Southend's £2.2m asking price. Forest relegated, Clough's successor Frank Clark signs him for original fee, plus appearance bonus.

1994: Hit 24 goals as Forest won immediate return to Premiership.

1995: In February Collymore acquitted on assault charge for alleged fight outside nightclub. Scores 25 goals as Forest finish third in Premiership and qualify for Uefa Cup. First England cap against Japan, 3 June. Joins Liverpool for British record £8.5m.

1996: Scores 19 goals as Liverpool finish third in the Premiership. Aston Villa reported to have £6m bid for him refused. Fined £20,000 for not attending training but Liverpool's manager Roy Evans says Collymore will be staying.

1997: Finishes season with 16 goals in 37 games. May: Joins Villa for £7m.

October: Sent off and given a three-match ban after exchanging blows with Bolton defender Andy Todd.

1998: March: Accuses Liverpool's Steve Harkness of racist abuse during and after Villa's 2-1 home victory.

June: Altercation with girlfriend, the television presenter Ulrika Jonsson, in a Paris bar. Collymore "deeply regrets everything that occurred" and "is beside himself with remorse".

1999: January: Seeks counselling, and spends two weeks in a clinic having treatment for depression. February: Returns to Villa side against Leeds. After 3-0 home defeat by Chelsea, Villa's manager John Gregory says he will not pick Collymore needs full-time treatment for depression. June: Collymore has talks with Greek club Panathinaikos but deal falls through. August: Starts the season on loan at Fulham, with view to £1m transfer, but returns to Villa.

2000: February: Bradford City lose interest in Collymore because they refuse to pay £3m fee. Leicester sign Collymore on pay-as-you-play deal. Leicester thrown out of La Manga training base after Collymore is accused of letting off fire extinguisher in bar. Fined two weeks' wages and warned about future conduct. Damage paid for by players. March: Scores hat-trick on home debut for Leicester in 5-2 victory over Sunderland. April: Breaks left leg early in 3-0 defeat at Derby. September: FA confirms that video panel will meet to review Collymore's clash with Paul Gascoigne in Premiership match with Everton. Transfer listed.

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