Nir Bitton’s contract situation sees him with the chance to leave in six months’ time, but the player himself doesn’t seem interested.
In comments published by the Scottish Sun, Bitton himself stated that he wants to stay and that the decision was currently in Peter Lawwell’s hands.
So far, there’s been no contract extension reported to be on the way, and Bitton is free to speak to other clubs if he so wishes. With no reports of any discussions as things stand, however, it looks as though the Israeli is fully focused on Celtic.
But the truth is, if Bitton wants to say then his new contract extension should only be a matter of time. After all, he’s more than earned the opportunity to be here for the foreseeable future.
Words can’t describe just how vital he’s been to our early-season success in recent years as he’s deputised as a centre-back. Despite the centre of midfield being his natural position, Bitton has put in some really big performances for the club against the likes of Rangers (x2), AIK, and the first four Champions League qualificatio matches respectively.
He’s featured a grand total of 19 times this season (Transfermarkt). That shows just how reliable Neil Lennon views Nir as being. He knows that whenever there is a crisis in the midfield or at the back, Bitton can be his go-to man to slot in as fully-reliable cover.
Bitton’s influence can’t be replaced so easily
He’ll never end the season as the club’s top goalscorer or assist-maker. He’ll also never dominate midfields or be an eye-catching box-to-box player. What he provides is solidity and a level of consistency that we’ll do well to replace if we allow it to depart.
Funnily enough, Bitton’s time as a first-choice is probably over. His role now is as a squad player. Yet there aren’t many squad players at the club more effective or influential than the Israeli.
Over the last few years, he’s been going about his business well and adapted to his new centre-back position with relative ease. As the season goes on, it’s undoubted that he continues to come up with big performances when called upon.
So we should be doing all we can to tie Nir down before other clubs catch hold of his situation. Bitton has won 14 major honours at Celtic and has been capped by Israel on 27 occasions (Transfermarkt). Clubs will be lining up for a player of that experience.
In addition to that, Bitton has been here for the majority of the 10-in-a-row run. Considering he’s still performing, he deserves to be here for us potentially securing that achievement.
Hopefully, in the coming weeks, we get his extension sorted. His desire to stay should effectively be the ink on fresh terms.