Celtic have turned down a transfer request from star midfielder Stilian Petrov.

“We can confirm that we have received an official transfer request from Stilian Petrov,” a spokesman told the club website. “This has been rejected.”

But Petrov said: “I have told the club that I need to move on and I hope Celtic respects my wishes.”

The 26-year-old Bulgaria captain signed a new deal in January, committing himself to the club until 2010.

Manager Gordon Strachan has not given up hope of keeping the player at Celtic Park.

“It might be a worry that this could have an effect on the player and those around him,” said the manager.

“But, despite him wanting to move on, we are relaxed about it.

“You are talking to someone who asked Alex Ferguson for a move in 1992 and I was told to go forth and multiply.

“I was there the next two years, won a few more trophies and just got on with it.”

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