Neil Lennon has confirmed that Celtic are in talks with Israeli midfielder Nir Bitton to extend his contract and keep him at the club. His current deal runs out at the end of the season.
Nir Bitton might not be a first-team player at Celtic Park but he is an important part of his manager’s plans nonetheless. The versatile midfielder is capable of filling in at a number of positions and has been deployed as a centre-back when the time has called for it. As a result, Neil Lennon will be hoping that the board can extend Bitton’s stay at Parkhead.
Once a regular in the Celtic setup, since coming back from a year-long injury layoff Bitton has seen himself transform into a rotation player under Lennon who replaced Brendan Rodgers in the middle of last season. Now in his seventh season at the club and at 28 years of age, the Israeli might be enticed into staying despite his decline in playing time if the club offered him a long-term contract.
Now Neil Lennon has confirmed that the club have entered talks with Bitton, looking to extend his contract. As reported by the Daily Record, the Celtic manager said:
“We don’t want him to go, we want him to stay. So, talks are on-going. Do we want it sorted before January? Yeah. We don’t want him to run down his contract, for sure.
“He’s made indications he would like to stay and that’s what we want too, so we’ll see how that pans out.”
It will be a huge mistake on the part of the club if they let Bitton go. He is a player capable of playing two roles at a high level. And even though he might no longer be a regular in the starting XI, he still is very important especially considering the amount of football Celtic play every season. If he does leave, it will not be cheap to replace him. So hopefully the club decide to give the Israeli what he wants instead of watching him walk out for free at the end of the season.