Kris Commons ‘relief’ at new Celtic deal

Kris Commons has extended his stay at Celtic. Picture: Lisa Ferguson

Kris Commons has extended his stay at Celtic. Picture: Lisa Ferguson

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KRIS Commons has signed a new two-year contract with Celtic, bringing an end to speculation about his future.

It had been understood that the Scottish international midfielder was poised for a move south after the lengthy contract negotiations appeared to have arrived at a stalemate.

But Celtic revealed yesterday that an agreement had finally been reached with the 31-year-old. “Celtic are delighted to announce that Kris Commons has signed a new two-year deal, committing himself to the club until the summer of 2017,” the club said in a statement.

It had looked like the reigning Scottish Player of the Year was heading out of Parkhead, apparently saying his farewell to the fans last month as he threw his boots into the crowd after the team’s 2-0 victory over Hamilton. That move prompted his manager, Ronny Deila, to suggest that he better hurry up and buy himself some new boots as he wasn’t allowing him to go anywhere. But the player was adamant that he wanted more than a one-year contract.

He had been determined to hold out for some career security, unhappy with the deal being proposed by Celtic and, with his current contract due to expire in the summer, he was expected to head south. There were several clubs said to be expressing an interest but the indications were he would chose to link up with former Celtic boss Neil Lennon at Bolton, and with his time at Parkhead limited, he would have been able to do that for a knock-down price.

But, despite the speculation, the transfer window closed without any movement as the poker match between club and player dragged on and there was still the option that he could sign a pre-contract and leave the club for nothing in the summer.

Deila had always expressed his desire to hold onto the player who played a peripheral role in the manager’s early days at the club, initially unable to build on the form which had seen him net 31 goals in 46 games last season.

The sidelining of the player, who picked up a raft of awards last term as he turned away from international football to concentrate on his club form, surprised many as Celtic struggled to find consistency in the Premiership and stuttered through the early part of the season.

But in recent weeks Commons, who joined Celtic four years ago in a £350,000 deal from Derby County, has again become a key performer, scoring in Sunday’s League Cup semi-final win against Rangers to keep hopes of a treble intact.

And despite the arrival of the former Dundee United duo Gary Mackay-Steven and Stuart Armstrong to bolster the defending champions’ attacking options, Celtic finally gave Commons the two-year-deal he was looking for, with the player now hoping to see out the rest of his career in Glasgow.

Commons, who has scored 74 goals in his time at Celtic Park is now looking forward to the remainder of the

domestic campaign as well as Europa League football, which returns on 19 February when Deila’s men face Italian giants Inter Milan in the last 32 first leg in Glasgow.

“I’m absolutely delighted to have signed this new contract with the club,” said Commons.

“I’ve loved my time at Celtic and this is where I want to continue playing my football.

“The club is in a great place, we’re still in four competitions this season, and already have a cup final to look forward to, and I want to continue playing my part in bringing more success to the club.

“I’m also delighted to continue playing in front of these magnificent fans, who have been brilliant with me and my family from the day I joined Celtic.”

Celtic manager Deila added: “I am really pleased that Kris has committed his future to the club.

“He is someone who has already made a great contribution to Celtic and I am sure he will continue to be a very important player for us as we work hard to bring our fans the success they deserve.

“We have had a good week after reaching the League Cup final and following the fantastic signings of Stuart Armstrong and Gary Mackay-Steven, Kris’s contract extension is even more great news for the club and our supporters.”

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