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Balde break to force Strachan into transfer market

Celtic manager Gordon Strachan is likely to enter the transfer market for a defender after receiving confirmation Bobo Balde has broken his leg.

The Guinea international will be out for several months as a result of the injury, sustained in the 2-2 Boxing Day draw at home to Dundee United.

However, their chances of securing the services of former Hearts centre-back Steven Pressley appear slim after Charlton manager Alan Pardew revealed he was set to hold talks with the Scotland international ahead of the transfer window.

The former Jambos captain had been in discussions with Celtic for the past fortnight and Balde's injury increases the urgency for cover.

'We are running short of defenders and we will need to think about that in the next 24 hours,' said Strachan after the Boxing Day match.

The Hoops manager's worst fears were confirmed yesterday after the 31-year-old Balde had an x-ray on his right leg, which appeared to buckle underneath him as he over-stretched to clear the ball.

After four minutes of treatment on the pitch the former Toulouse player was carried off on a stretcher and replaced by Darren O'Dea, whose goal in the 78th minute sparked a dramatic comeback from 2-0 down.

A club statement said: 'Celtic can confirm that Bobo Balde suffered a leg break during the 2-2 draw with Dundee United on Boxing Day.

'The Guinean defender, who has been integral part of the Hoops squad since joining the club from Toulouse in 2001, will be out for a number of months.'

Celtic currently have right-back Mark Wilson out for two months with a knee injury, while defender Gary Caldwell is still sidelined with a groin strain.