Sunderland boss O’Neill does not want Celtic defender Efe Ambrose

NOT WANTED: Celtic's Efe Ambrose
NOT WANTED: Celtic's Efe Ambrose

CELTIC defender Efe Ambrose is NOT on Sunderland’s radar after Martin O’Neill dismissed reports linking the Black Cats with the Nigerian international.

Sunderland, along with Liverpool and Swansea, were credited with an interest in Ambrose earlier this week despite the 24-year-old enduring a torrid time in last week’s Champions League defeat to Juventus.

But O’Neill says he has had no discussions with Celtic boss Neil Lennon, and has given no indication that he intends to make a move for Ambrose.

“It’s been news to me. I’ve not spoken to Neil Lennon about Ambrose,” said the Sunderland manager.

Lennon, O’Neill’s former skipper at Leicester and Celtic, gave fuel to the reports by claiming he was aware of interest in the centre-half from the Premier League.

After arriving for £1.5million from Israli side FC Ashdod during the summer, Ambrose has made 28 appearances for the Hoops and helped Nigeria lift the African Cup of Nations earlier this month.

Lennon said: “Overall he’s been brilliant for us and there’s been a lot of interest in him. Not just in England, but interest on the continent as well.”

Neither is O’Neill thought to have spoken with Lennon about winger James Forrest, who has also been linked to the Black Cats.

SEE Friday’s Mail for full story and more Black Cats news, views and features