Leigh Griffiths: Hibs fail in bid to take Celtic striker on loan

By Brian McLauchlinBBC Scotland
Leigh Griffiths scores for Celtic against Dundee
Griffiths scored his first goal of the season against Dundee in Sunday's draw

Celtic striker Leigh Griffiths is unlikely to rejoin Hibernian on loan, BBC Scotland has learned.

Hibs have contacted Celtic but the Scottish champions are unwilling to allow the player to move.

Scotland international Griffiths, 24, spent two seasons on loan at Easter Road from Wolverhampton Wanderers.

He subsequently joined Celtic in January for an undisclosed fee and scored his first goal of the season in Sunday's 1-1 draw with Dundee.

The former Livingston and Dundee forward has been left out of the starting XI for most of Celtic's matches since Ronny Deila took charge but impressed as a substitute at Dens Park.

Celtic manager Ronny Deila
We need a very big and strong squad. We want to make this squad stronger

Deila was asked before the match what the future may hold for Griffiths and fellow striker Anthony Stokes, with Serbia forward Stefan Scepovic close to joining Celtic.

"There's nothing going to happen with them," the Norwegian said of the duo on BBC Radio Scotland.

"We need a very big and strong squad. We want to make this squad stronger. We're going to play a lot of matches.

"We're starting to get a bigger and stronger group and that's what it takes to make our goals this season."

Leigh Griffiths and Ronny Deila
Griffiths came off the bench and scored at Dens Park

The Celtic boss is also adamant Virgil van Dijk will be staying, despite being left out against Dundee amid increasing speculation about the Dutch defender's future.

Jason Denayer starting at the heart of the defence at Dens and Eoghan O'Connell came on in the second half.

"The young boys did good and you can't expect too much from young players," said Deila of his makeshift defence. "It's not them who are going to lead the team.

"We started the game very poorly, we conceded a goal at once. Players got very passive and afraid.

"When Leigh came on, there was more energy in the team. We had 20 minutes of a spell when I think we were good.

"But then the game opened up and we were too open, especially on the left side and they got some chances.

"We wanted to score a second goal. One-one was an okay result when you see the game in total."

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