Celtic midfielder Nir Bitton has said that he would like to remain at the club beyond the expiry of his current contract next summer, although he realises that the decision is not his to make.
Should Nir Bitton be given a new contract?
The Daily Record reported that the 28-year-old Israel international is keen on staying in Glasgow, where his family have settled, but said that his future at the club rests in the hands of chief executive Peter Lawwell.
Speaking about the likelihood of being offered a new deal at Parkhead, Bitton said: “It’s something you need to ask Peter Lawwell 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.” [via Daily Record]
That landmark would probably have come a lot sooner had it not been for a knee injury in 2018 which sidelined him for almost a full year, as per The Scottish Sun.
The 28-year-old has made 19 appearances so far this season, although he has not been a regular in Neil Lennon’s line-up, having started just five of their 15 Premiership games and none of their five Europa League group matches – albeit with some of his absences enforced by thigh problems earlier in the campaign. [via TransferMarkt]
While he has operated as a defensive midfielder for most of his career, the majority of Bitton’s game-time in 2019/20 has come at centre-back, where he has filled in when injuries have struck Kristoffer Ajer, Hatem Abd Elhamed and long-term victim Jozo Simunovic.
Lennon has expressed a desire to see the versatile Israeli being given a new contract (as per The Scottish Sun), although Alan Hutton told Football Insider that he expects Bitton to depart next summer.
Although Bitton hasn’t been a regular presence in Celtic’s first XI this season, his ability to operate at centre-back as well as in defensive and central midfield roles makes him a valuable and adaptable asset, while a double century of Hoops appearances is a testament to his experience.
He wants to stay at the club and Lennon wants to keep him, so it would seem preferable to all parties that he is offered a new deal at Parkhead. Also, at 28, he should still have plenty more to offer to the Hoops.
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