Phoenix in for the Killen

Wellington has expressed its interest in signing Celtic striker Chris Killen as the club's marquee player for upcoming 2009/2010 Hyundai A-League season.

Wellington has expressed its interest in signing Celtic striker Chris Killen as the club's marquee player for upcoming 2009/2010 Hyundai A-League season.

Killen, who has another year to run on his deal with the Scottish giants, is currently with the New Zealand squad preparing for the Confederations Cup in South Africa.

The 27-year-old Kiwi has struggled to break into the first team at Celtic after initial success in 2007 when he was signed from rivals Hibernian.

He was loaned out to English Championship side Norwich in January but made only four appearances as a substitute.

Phoenix chief executive Tony Pignata is hopeful of bringing the Wellington-born Killen back to the New Zealand capital and spoke to him on a recent trip to Britain with Phoenix and New Zealand coach Ricki Herbert.

"His intention is to honour his contract with Celtic and we respect that," Pignata told Radio Sport.

"At this stage it was just a discussion. We haven't made any formal approaches but the door is open for Chris if he wants to come back."

"If Chris is not happy in Scotland and he wants to make a move we would be crazy not to talk to him."

"He is from Wellington. We are looking for a target man so that all fits the bill."

"We have got a spot available in our marquee status."

Killen, who has scored 15 goals in 28 appearances for New Zealand, has previously indicated that he feels his future lies in Europe and is likely to see the Confederations Cup in South Africa as the perfect platform to relaunch his career.

The All Whites play World Cup holders Italy in a warm-up match next Thursday before they kick off their cup campaign against Spain on June 15.