Neil Lennon has provided an exciting message to the Celtic fans in that the club is ready to offer new contracts to some key players.
The Hoops boss was talking to the National about the future of James Forrest when he made the remark. He claims that the club is ready to re-negotiate Forrest’s deal as well as “one or two others”
Celtic have recently seen the pros of having their top stars tied down on long-term contracts. The club just sold Kieran Tierney to Arsenal for a whopping £25million (BBC). In addition to that, Leicester City were reportedly willing to offer Celtic a further £20m for Callum McGregor (Daily Record).
Keeping players under contract helps to maximise their value to the club. And speaking to the National, Lenny confirmed a few are being eyed up for new deals.
“Obviously we’re not going to sell (Forrest). We actually want to look to renegotiate with him and maybe one or two others as well.
“He’s happy here. At 28, going away is a big choice to make, but we’re nowhere near that. I don’t have a price for Jamesie. I know there have been prices quoted, but it would take a fair transfer fee to prise him away from what we want from him here.
“It’s important to hold on to your better players, we have already sold one so we don’t want to sell any more”
So who could be getting eyed up for new contracts?
Going through the side, there are a host of key players you could pick out that would be worth tying down.
Olivier Ntcham, Forrest, McGregor, Mikey Johnston, Ryan Christie, Scott Brown, and Kristoffer Ajer all signed new long-term deals within the last 12 months. Considering Forrest is likely going to sign another, however, that doesn’t mean anything.
There were reports that McGregor was set to be offered a new contract yet again (The Herald). Therefore, with the speculation going around, he has to be a favourite to commit to the club further.
When you look through the team, however, there are several others deserving of a new deal. Ryan Christie is another standout with his recent displays.
We then have the likes of Johnston and Odsonne Edouard, but with the former suddenly breaking out as a first-team star, it’s difficult to ignore the idea of him being offered improved terms.
Jozo Simunovic’s consistency under Lennon has also been impressive. He could be another candidate to sign on. Outside of those mentioned, there may not be too many others who deserve or need fresh terms at the moment.
But watch this space, it looks like Celtic are set to get to work with regards to new deals.