Celtic’s Nir Bitton has left the Israel camp early and returned to Parkhead ahead of the Glasgow derby next weekend.
Israel manager Marco Balbul had called up the 30-year-old for his nation’s friendlies against Germany and Romania, and Bitton played the full 90 minutes in the 2-0 defeat against Hansi Flick’s side on Saturday.
They host Romania in Netanya on Tuesday night, but the Hoops ace has already turned his attention back to club football.
Celtic travel to Rangers on Sunday looking to open a six-point lead over their arch-rivals at the top of the Premiership.
Digital journalist @CraigCelt relayed the news on Bitton via Twitter on Sunday evening.
He said that the 30-year-old had been ‘allowed to return’ to Celtic’s Lennoxtown training facility ‘earlier than planned’ in order to prepare for the potentially season-defining game at Ibrox.
The £14,000-per-week midfielder will surely be among those considered by Ange Postecoglou for selection against Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s outfit.
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This is certainly positive news for Postecoglou, and Bitton isn’t the only player who may be fresher than expected for the Glasgow derby. Greece are apparently planning to rest striker Giorgos Giakoumakis, while Croatia boss Zlatko Dalic has hinted that Josip Juranovic may also be given a night off.
Those developments will surely be music to the Celtic manager’s ears.
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