Mikael Lustig has revealed that he has had brief contract talks with Neil Lennon.
The Swede looks set to depart Parkhead in the summer with his contract running out. There’s been no reports of progression in any potential new contract for him either.
Despite that, he has had a growing role to play in the team since Brendan Rodgers departed. The poor form of Jeremy Toljan has led to some unlikely opportunities for Lustig. He started the Scottish Cup clash at Hibernian two weeks ago, and came on for Toljan at Tynecastle just a few days previous too.
His recent renaissance has, however, also included some brief contract talks with interim manager Lennon. Speaking to the Celtic View (Volume 54, Issue 33, page 21), Lustig said the following:
“Neil and I talked together shortly after he returned. We discussed a little bit about my situation and about what might happen next year.
“We’re both in a situation where we don’t know what the future holds come the summer. I try not to think too much about the future, but it’s always in your head, especially when you have a family.
“It’s up to the club and we don’t know for certain who’s going to be the manager next season and what plans they have.”
Nail on the head
Lustig pretty much sums up why we won’t here a decision soon with his last comment here.
Celtic don’t know for certain who the manager will be. Neil Lennon may have already started some transfer talks with Lee Congerton and Peter Lawwell, but he needs to make an impact this season first.
Should Lennon fail to win one of the two competitions Celtic are currently in, he wouldn’t be an overly-popular appointment. Certainly not after the constant success the Hoops had with the same squad under Brendan Rodgers.
Lustig hasn’t had the same impact this season as he’s had in the past either. He has managed 39 appearances impressively, but he has regressed as a defensive unit. Keeping him beyond the end of the season must, therefore, only be used as cover.
Of what we’ve seen so far, Toljan shouldn’t even be an option Celtic consider either. He’s done nothing to suggest he’s better than Lustig, and therefore the club should look to upgrade further.
But with regards to Lustig’s new deal? Don’t expect a decision until a manager has been permanently installed.