Nir Bitton makes it clear ball is in Peter Lawwell's court when it comes to Celtic contract extension

By John McGinley

December 11, 2019

Celtic star Nir Bitton has made it clear that he wants to stay at the club, telling reporters they’d have to ask club Chief Executive Peter Lawwell about his Parkhead future, The Scottish Sun report.

Bitton’s current contract expires at the end of the season, meaning decisions must be made on the Israeli international’s future soon.

With a January transfer window on the immediate horizon, it’d be preferable for any contract talks to be settled either way before then.

It was reported last month that English Premier League side Burnley were keen on a January move for the player, valuing him at around £1m (The Scottish Sun).

However, it sounds very much like he wants to continue his career at the Hoops.

When asked about the issue this week, he told The Scottish Sun: “It’s something you need to ask Peter Lawwell about instead of me!

“But I love this club and I want to stay. I am settled here, my kids live here, so we will see what happens.”

Manager Neil Lennon also recently made it clear he wants the utility man to stay in Glasgow and shared his hope that it’d all be settled before the new year (The Daily Record).

(Photo by Tullio Puglia – UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images)

Is there a stalemate?

Clearly if it was a formality he is staying at Celtic Park then there wouldn’t be such a delay in putting pen to paper. It appears that talks have been ongoing about his stay.

You can understand why the club might be a bit hesitant about handing out a new long-term deal to the 28-year-old. He’s had extensive injury problems over the last couple of years and doesn’t have a defined role in the Celtic squad.

However, he is a useful relief option both in defence and midfield. He wants to stay at the club and I’d like to see Lawwell and other decision-makers at Celtic Park get it over the line.

We need squad depth at the club. Not everyone can be an Odsonne Edouard, Scott Brown or Christopher Jullien. If Bitton’s happy with his role at the Bhoys, then so am I.