Celtic have opened talks with Callum McGregor in an effort to sign him up to a new, improved contract, The Scottish Sun report.
The Daily Mail (09/08 print edition, back page) reported after the English transfer window shut that Leicester had made overtures in an effort to bring him south.
The paper said that Brendan Rodgers was willing to pay as much as £20m for him.
However, those efforts were quickly rebuffed by the Hoops, who had just lost star left-back to Arsenal.
Manager Neil Lennon has now admitted there was interest during the summer, although no official offers were registered.
As a result of that, the manager feels it’s only right that McGregor is rewarded for his form over the last couple of years and because he now has increased value.
As quoted by The Scottish Sun, Lennon said: “We are talking at the moment and it’s one we are hoping to get finalised.
“There was interest in Callum during the summer, no question about that. There was no confirmation of any bid, but there was definite interest and, to be honest, that didn’t surprise me.
“We held on to him and it’s important we do the right thing with him. The principled thing is to give him a new deal, an improved contract, because he deserves it. In the talks that we’ve had so far, Callum has been receptive to staying.”
Protection for Celtic
Premier League interest in McGregor is unlikely to go away just becase we, as fans, want it to. Rodgers is likely not the only manager to be eyeing the 26-year-old with envious eyes. Performances like the one he produced against Cluj on Thursday night will ensure that.
Crucial for Celtic though is that we not only make the player feel valued and as happy as possible, but also protect ourselves against this big money interest.
Part of the reason that the club could command such a high fee for Kieran Tierney is because he was tied down to a lucrative long-term contract. He was in no rush to leave and it took an enormous offer from a club that could afford it to make the deal happen.
If McGregor ever does leave the Hoops then hopefully it will be under similar circumstances.
He signed his last deal at the club less than a year ago, until the summer of 2023, but Celtic clearly feel that sands have shifted regarding his future.
Fingers crossed it’s all sorted out as positively as Lennon suggests.