Larsson interest confirmed

Last updated : 04 January 2004 By Martyn Elliott

The Swedish goal machine is out of contract at Parkhead at the end of the season and has already made it clear that he will be leaving Scotland in the summer.

It now looks likely that we will be one of a host of clubs vying for his services when he makes that final lucrative move of his career in July.

How that fits in with Sir Bobby’s reported desire to sign a striker during the January transfer window remains to be seen but if Alan Smith were to move to St James’ Park as well, it would certainly give the manager some nice selection problems next season.

"Celtic are in Europe like we are - we could meet them in the UEFA Cup - so we can forget about Larsson until the summer,” said Sir Bobby.

"But he's a player we'll consider setting our sights on when we finally know he is moving on from Celtic and is on the open market.

"He's 32 years of age and playing in an easy league but when he's come to European football, he has still looked a class act.

"We are comparing him with other players we are looking at."

Of a potential Larsson-Shearer dream team, he added: "Alan is Alan. He won't change - and doesn't need to. But Larsson would be a player who could play with him.

"I think Larsson could play with anybody who's intelligent.

"Strikers, if they have a football brain, can build a telepathy with each other."