Neil Lennon has offered a stark appraisal of the club's financial position – and the value of Champions League football – on the eve of Celtic's play-off first leg with Helsingborgs on Tuesday.

Celtic are in talks with Swansea City about the potential sale of the South Korean midfielder Ki Sung-yueng for between £5m and £6m. The manager admitted, though, that it does not automatically follow he would receive such funds to boost his squad; Celtic's debt was last reported at just over £7m.

"It will help fund the debt, we have to get the debt down a little bit so that will help towards that," Lennon said. "We will see where we go after these two games and see what money we have to spend, if any at all. I might not [get the Ki money]. I might get some of it, I don't know. One, I don't know what the fee will be and two, I don't know how much we will use to service the debt.

"It is unfortunate to lose a quality player but that has been our strategy at the club for the last two or three years, cultivate these players and eventually move them on if they want to go."

Lennon also dismissed the notion that Helsingborgs represent favourable opposition for the Scottish champions. Celtic haven't featured in the group stage of the Champions League for four years.

He added: "We have been together two years and a lot of players know we haven't done as well as we maybe should have.

"We got through a tough tie in Helsinki and that will give the players a lot of confidence. They all want to play Champions League football but we have two difficult games to overcome before we can start talking about that."

Lennon hopes to be boosted by the return from injury of Scott Brown, his captain, along with James Forrest and Gary Hooper.