CELTIC striker John Guidetti was presented with the SPFL Premiership Player of the Month award for October yesterday but the 22-year-old is prepared to deliver something much more valuable to the club’s supporters by committing his future to the Scottish champions.
The Swede is on a season-long loan from Manchester City but his contract at the Etihad Stadium expires in the summer and will not be renewed.
Ill-informed reports had claimed that City would seek to sell Guidetti for £5 million during the January transfer window but the player is Celtic’s until the end of the current campaign.
It had been assumed that the club would not be able to retain his services after that. Guidetti has harvested nine goals from just eight starts this season, form which has earned him a recall to the Sweden squad. It has also attracted attention from other suitors and Celtic fans feared that their club would be unable or unwilling to match the money he could earn elsewhere.
However, he cleared the way for an extended stay in Glasgow by revealing that he is willing to take a pay cut in order to put down some roots with Celtic.
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“Of course I can see myself here next year,” he said. “You can always see yourself at a club like this. It’s an amazing football club.
“I want to thank the fans for being so kind to me. They put a bit of pressure on me last week by singing my name even before I scored!
“I thought, ‘S***, now I have to score!’ Fortunately, I did, but I have to be thankful to my team-mates and to the whole club. Everyone has been amazing.”
Guidetti stressed that he would be willing to continue playing for Celtic even if the financial rewards at Parkhead are not as great as he could achieve elsewhere.
“Obviously, if [staying] is the right thing then it is the right thing,” he said. “I don’t think money has anything to do with it, as long as you can put food on the table and support your family.
“This is my job and, of course, you want to be financially stable, but you are going to achieve that at a club like this.
“You have to look at all the options and see what is there. I need to put myself in a good position by playing well. Celtic want me to play well also and to just focus on this year.
“It’s my agent’s job at the end of the season. For me, though, when I look back on my career, my dream is to play in the biggest games possible and do well, play for my country and win trophies and have had a heck of a good time.
“When you look back you are not going to think, ‘It was a nice day when I cashed that bonus cheque.’ It’s about saying, ‘That goal was a beauty’. When you are talking to your three-year-old grandkids, you want to show them a nice goal on YouTube. I would give any amount of money to score a goal and celebrate. It’s the best feeling in the world.”
Guidetti certainly believes that he can fulfil his ambitions, in the short term at least, with Celtic. He has missed out on the club’s European ties this season because the club failed to register him in time for Uefa’s signing deadline but he will be eligible for the knockout phase early next year.
He will certainly provide the cutting edge Ronny Deila’s teams have lacked on these occasions and he claims to have been inspired by the achievement of Martin O’Neill’s men, who reached the Uefa Cup final in 2003, only to lose 3-2 after extra time to Jose Mourinho’s Porto
“The boys told me all about Seville,” he said. “They told me it would be nice to go far in the Europa League because back then it was unbelievable. They told me how there were 30,000 fans in the stadium and 80,000 in Seville. I just thought ‘wow’. The airline companies must have done well that week!
“Of course, who could not imagine being part of that? In fact, I can imagine being one of the 80,000 walking up the street singing: I enjoy that bit as well, don’t worry about that!
“A dream for me this year would be to have a full Celtic Park with 60,000 singing. Don’t get me wrong, the atmosphere has been amazing but I know it can be even better.
“I’m shocked that it can be even better but I want to hear it one day. I want an absolute sell-out, to get goosebumps and have my hair standing on end. I want to score a goal and just embrace it.
“I am looking forward to the weekend. I have heard it will be a great atmosphere [against Aberdeen] and a great buzz. Hearts away will be an amazing atmosphere and I don’t even need to talk about the Rangers game.
“These are the games I love, matches that are a bit tasty with a few yellow cards going around. These are the games I live for.”
“If you start looking too far ahead you aren’t going to be successful.”
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