Celtic boss Ronny Deila insists Emilio Izaguirre still has a future at the club despite playing deputy to first choice left back Kieran Tierney.
The Honduran was rumoured to be on his way out of Celtic Park last summer with Charlie Mulgrew preferred for the first Champions League qualifiers against Stjarnan.
He managed to win his place back, a position he’s largely held since arriving at the club back in 2010, only to lose it once more when Deila turned to 18-year-old Tierney.
Since the youngster started the top of the table clash with Aberdeen on 31 October (a game Celtic won 3-1), Izaguirre has struggled to retain his place, starting only five matches since.
He last featured in the 8-1 romp against Hamilton on 19 January, sitting on the bench for the next five games before being omitted from the 18-man squad entirely for Saturday’s win over Inverness.
This led to increased speculation that the player’s future lies away from Celtic Park, with a potential summer move being mooted.
However, while admitting Tierney is his preferred pick at the moment, Deila insists he wants Izaguirre (whose contract runs until the end of next season) to remain with the Scottish champions.
Celtic’s manager told The Evening Times: “We can’t have one full-back. Yes, he has a future and he’s a great player. It’s tough competition on that side.
“Everyone can see what Keiran Tierney has done but everyone also respects what Emilio has done for this club.
“We know we have two very good full-backs. He’s a player we want to keep. I talk with Emilio lots of times. He comes into my office and we talk.
“Of course he wants to play more, that’s for sure. Everybody in that squad wants to play. But it’s a competition and you never know in football. Something could happen with Tierney and also he [Izaguirre] can show in training that he is better.”
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