Former Sunderland striker Stokes rejects Celtic deal

Celtic's Anthony Stokes.

Celtic's Anthony Stokes.

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FORMER Sunderland striker Anthony Stokes has rejected the offer of a new deal with Scottish champions Celtic.

The 24-year-old Irishman, who is out of contract, endured a season of frustration as an ankle injury kept him on the sidelines for four and a half months while his team-mates made a major impact in the Champions League.

But the former Falkirk and Hibernian frontman returned to fitness in time to score the winning goal in the William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final against Dundee United, while he put in a man-of-the-match display against his old Leith side in the final.

Celtic boss Neil Lennon said: “We have already made him an offer - he has knocked that back, but negotiations will be ongoing.

“We really saw the best of him towards the end of the season. He looks physically in the best shape he has been in.

“He was such a pivotal player for us towards the end of the season, and his cup final performance was absolutely fantastic.”