KRIS Commons is seeking a new three-year contract from Celtic as he looks to continue the peak period of his career with the Scottish champions.
The 30-year-old attacking midfielder’s current deal expires at the end of this season, although Celtic manager Neil Lennon has already indicated the club will take up the option of a one-year extension which was written into the original agreement when Commons joined them in January 2011.
The player revealed he has not had any formal contact from Celtic yet regarding his contractual situation but is keen to secure a longer-term future at Parkhead.
“I only saw it in the papers that they were going to take up the option,” said Commons. “I haven’t heard anything yet. I’m still looking for this three-year deal. Is that floating around anywhere?
“It’s important for me just to keep playing, keep scoring, stay in the manager’s eye and see where it takes us.”
Lennon has also floated the possibility of a coaching role at the club for Commons when his playing career winds down, but the former Nottingham Forest and Derby County man has suggested he may seek an alternative path when the time comes.
“Again, I read about the coaching thing in the papers,” smiled Commons. “The manager hasn’t spoken to me about it yet.
“Maybe when I’m a bit older, it’s something I’d be interest in. But I’d like to think there was something other than football I could perhaps enter into. It’s something I’m going to think about six, seven or eight years down the line.
“When you’ve just done one thing all your life, in my case football, you think there might be something else one day. My wife is into her charity work, so there might be an avenue there. Who knows?”
For the moment, Commons is unquestionably integral to Lennon’s quest for a third successive Scottish title win and another crack at the Champions League. He is Celtic’s top scorer this season, with 17 goals from 29 appearances, already well on course to eclipse his impressive tally of 19 goals in 46 games during the previous campaign.
But while Commons has been exceptional value for the £300,000 fee Celtic paid for him, it hasn’t been consistent plain sailing for him. During his first full season with the club in 2011-12, he managed just one goal in 33 outings as he suffered a wretched slump in form. He says it has provided him with a valuable sense of perspective which ensures he never makes assumptions about his place in Lennon’s starting line-up.
“I try to keep my feet on the ground,” added Commons. “I suppose it’s because of that season. I probably took it for granted then, expecting to be playing every week.
“It was one of those seasons that had never happened to me before. I went from coming into the club, scoring goals right away and doing really well, to picking up injuries and playing terribly. I tended to try even harder and ended up making things worse. It was a learning curve for me.
“The low point was when I got sent off at Hearts [in November 2011 for a two-footed challenge on Adrian Mrowiec]. I’d been out the team for a while, got the nod to play and then I got a straight red card.
“I just remember going back into the dressing room and thinking ‘what’s happening here? I’m not scoring, not playing well and now I’m getting red cards for reckless challenges. That’s not me, I don’t do that’. Yeah, it was a bit of a dark time.
“But you have to take football as a package. Bad times make the good times even better. Footballers don’t just have illustrious careers with great highs all the time. I’m probably grateful now that in times like just now, when I’m enjoying it, picking up awards and scoring goals, I can keep my feet on the ground because I know how bad it can be.”
Celtic today bid to maintain their unbeaten record in the Scottish Premiership when they play host to one of the distantly chasing pack in Motherwell. Commons accepts another title win for his team is regarded as a formality by most observers but insists they will maintain their levels of intensity as they look to cross the line as quickly as they can.
“I wouldn’t say it’s over yet, because the opposition don’t just let us score willy-nilly,” he said. “You get hot favourites who are expected to win things and with the signings we’ve made and the club’s stature at the moment, we are the one force in the Premiership. People will look at us and say it’s inevitable. But it’s not a case of the players taking that approach into games.
“We want to keep winning, winning well and win the league as soon as possible.”