Scottish champions Celtic are facing a January transfer window battle to keep hold of Nir Bitton according to the Scottish Sun.
Bitton, 28, is wanted by Burnley who are hoping to take advantage of the Israeli’s contract situation at Celtic Park.
Bitton’s current deal with the Hoops runs out in the summer, leaving Sean Dyche lining up a cut-priced deal for the midfielder.
Will Nir Bitton leave Celtic in January?
He’s made 15 appearances for Celtic already this term, including substitute appearances in stunning back-to-back victories over Italian giants Lazio.
The versatility of the midfielder is one of the things apparently attracting Dyche, who currently has Burnley sat in the top half of the Premier League.
As per his performance dated as collated by Transfermarkt, the player has moved out of his usual defensive midfield role 31 times over the course of his career, occasionally filling in as a defender or a more conventional central option in the engine room.
Manager Neil Lennon is a fan of the Israel international, and is keen to extend his contract beyond the end of this term.
He said: “Nir has been superb for us, but obviously we know about his contract situation.
“That’s something we’ll be looking to change as we go along. Hopefully we can get it sorted soon.”
Bitton has also expressed a desire to remain at the club beyond the end of his current contract.
He said: “Every season is important but for me, this season is important because I finish my contract at the end of it.
“I obviously want to stay at Celtic for as long as I can, but it’s football so you never know what’s going to happen tomorrow.”
With his deal ending this summer, the chance of a move to a Premier League club punching above their weight would be a hard moved to turn down for the midfielder despite his previous comments. Indeed, while it’s clear to see why the Bhoys boss does rate him so highly after a 196-game service to the Scottish champions, perhaps the idea of a move to England would be tempting.
Furthermore, Celtic should be keen to bring in a transfer fee for Bitton, rather than allowing him to walk out for free in six months time.
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