Transfer market beckons for Celtic

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Celtic are preparing to enter the transfer market to try to give themselves a better chance of contesting the Premier Division title race with Rangers, writes David McKinney.

Although he has remained tight-lipped over possible targets, Tommy Burns, the Celtic manager, is thought to be ready to move for Chris Waddle, of Sheffield Wednesday, and has expressed an interest in Newcastle's Swiss full-back, Marc Hottiger.

Having stated that he intends to bring in at least two new players, Burns is aware that he could be on the verge of losing John Collins, his influential midfield player, with Middlesbrough and Arsenal ready to move for him.

The need for new players was apparent on Saturday as Celtic relapsed into old ways, in the absence of their foreign signings Andreas Thom and Pierre van Hooijdonk, drawing 1-1 with Motherwell at Celtic Park.

Rangers took advantage of Celtic's slip with a 2-0 win at Falkirk to move clear at the top. Their recent signing Oleg Salenko scored his first goal for the club, with David Robertson adding a second. The bad news for Rangers, though, is that Mark Hateley will miss the Champions' League ties against Borussia Dortmund and Juventus after undergoing knee surgery on Friday. However, the stage is set for a dramatic Coca-Cola Cup tie between the two rivals at Celtic Park tomorrow.

Hibernian and Partick Thistle share third place in the division while Kilmarnock remain rooted at the bottom without a point or a goal to their name.