Celtic manager Neil Lennon touches on out-of-contract players

By David Walton

March 30, 2020

Celtic manager Neil Lennon has stated that all he can do is talk to players out-of-contract, with no real solution on the table at the moment.

With football in Britain currently shutdown, there is a real worry that players whose contracts expire in June won’t be able to see out the season with their current club should it be extended.

Celtic are in that position with several of their players. Both Fraser Forster and Mohamed Elyounoussi will be due to return to Southampton by the time UEFA want leagues to be over on June 30th (Daily Record).

Fraser Forster (Giuseppe Maffia/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

The likes of Craig Gordon, Jonny Hayes, Calvin Miller, and Daniel Arzani will also be scheduled to depart in the summer. And speaking in the Daily Record, Lennon has stated he can’t do anything more than have some chats with his departing stars.

“We can speak with them. But in terms of what we can do going forward we don’t really know what we can and can’t do as yet as the season is yet to finish.

“There are so many imponderables. I keep hearing that word ‘unprecedented’ being used a lot.

“But it’s the perfect word for the situation that we find ourselves in as there are so many different outcomes and circumstances which could happen.”

Who would Celtic look to keep?

It’s a slight concern for Celtic regarding the players out-of-contract this summer. The likes of Forster and Elyounoussi would be a must in terms of extending their loan deals if possible.

However, you wonder whether they’re the only two worth keeping on.

As much as Gordon is a fine shot-stopper, we have Scott Bain in reserve. He can play back-up to Forster, and we know from last season that he’s a reliable choice when needed.

Celtic goalkeeper Craig Gordon (Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

As for Hayes, he’s another of Lennon’s reliables. However, with Greg Taylor ahead of him in the pecking order and Boli Bolingoli looking to force his way back into things, we’re still well-stocked down that flank.

The likes of Calvin Miller and Daniel Arzani are also sure to head out the exit door in the summer. Therefore, Celtic’s only real priority should be getting Forster and Elyounoussi to extend their loan contracts here if possible and if necessary.

This likely wouldn’t be a problem considering both have played key roles for us this season. However, if Celtic were to decide to tie up the likes of Hayes or Gordon on short-term deals, there aren’t many positives in it for the players. After all, they’re effectively being asked to risk their fitness for another month so that a club that doesn’t want them for the long-term can have more depth for a month or two.

This could get messy for other clubs. However, Celtic hopefully have a clear mind about what they’ll try to do.