Premier League clubs target Celtic star Stokes

The striker looks to be heading for the exit door after dropping down the pecking order under new manager Ronny Deila, with the likes of Sunderland, West Ham and QPR keen
By William Joyce

Celtic star Anthony Stokes is being targeted by a number of English clubs after dropping down the pecking order under Ronny Deila, Goal can reveal.

The 26-year-old joined Celtic from Hibernian in 2010 and has emerged as a firm favourite ever since, netting 68 goals in 154 appearances.

Stokes was handed a new long-term contract last year by Neil Lennon, but Stokes now looks set to follow the former manager out of Celtic Park.

Stokes was an unused substitute as Celtic crashed to a 4-1 defeat at Legia Warsaw to leave their hopes of reaching the Champions League group stages in tatters.

Goal understands both Premier League and Championship clubs have been alerted to the fact that Delia does not see Stokes as key to his plans and the player is not expected to agree to a less-prominent role.

A Celtic source told Goal: "Clearly Anthony won't be happy, and it won't be a shock if he is lured back to England."

Former club Sunderland, along with QPR, West Brom, Aston Villa, West Ham, Derby, Fulham and Norwich City are all understood to be amongst the clubs assessing Stokes's situation.