Lennon wants to keep Stokes

  • Last Updated: July 13 2012, 10:32 BST

Celtic manager Neil Lennon has revealed he wants to keep hold of Anthony Stokes as rumours persist over the striker's future.

Anthony Stokes: Contract runs out next summer

The 23-year-old Republic of Ireland international has been at Parkhead since 2010 but is out of contract next summer and Lennon hopes he can keep the former Arsenal youngster.

"I've not heard a thing about other clubs being interested. He had a great season last year," he told the Daily Express.

"He's still young - still only 23 - even though he's been around the British game for what seems a lot longer.

"There is scope for him to improve. He's a goalscorer and I wouldn't be in too big a hurry to let him go."

But Lennon was also realistic about the prospect of selling Stokes if a new deal could not be arranged so the forward does not leave for free in 12 months' time.

"He's in the last year of his contract and that's something we'll be looking at over the next few weeks once we get back and talk things through," he said.

"Every player has his price and Anthony would be no different in that regard. But 21 goals last year speaks for itself."