RONNY DEILA has insisted Kris Commons will not be leaving Celtic this month, regardless of whether he is able to agree a new contract with the club.
Scotland’s reigning Player of the Year intensified speculation over his immediate future when he made a point of throwing his boots into the crowd at the end of Celtic’s 2-0 win at Hamilton on Saturday.
Commons is out of contract at the end of the season and negotiations over a renewal have been at an impasse for several months now with Celtic unwilling to give the 31-year-old the length of deal he is seeking.
Former Celtic manager Neil Lennon has confirmed he would like to take Commons to Bolton Wanderers, while other English clubs are also interested.
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But Deila is adamant Commons will stay at Celtic until the end of the season at least as he remains an influential figure in their bid to retain the Scottish Premiership title. “Kris is not leaving in January,” said Deila. “We have to win the league. He is a good player and we want to keep the best ones.
“The situation is still the same. We are talking together and will see if something can be agreed. I haven’t talked to him about throwing his boots to the fans. I’ve only talked to him about his situation which is very clear and we’ll see what’s happening in the next few days.
“I still think a deal can be done. I haven’t given that up. He still has to perform like we all have to do. It works both ways. He’s a very good player and we’ll see if we can do this for a longer period.
“We want him and he wants to stay. It’s about the contract. It’s hard to say how far apart we are but we’re not agreeing. And when you do not agree, you do not agree. But we’re in negotiations so we’ll see what’s happening. I still think it’s a possibility because we want to keep him and he wants to stay. That’s the most important thing. If I didn’t want him and he didn’t want to stay, it would be finished now.”
The Celtic manager, meanwhile, has apologised to his Dundee United counterpart Jackie McNamara who was irked last week when Deila spoke publicly about his interest in Gary Mackay-Steven before a pre-contract agreement with the Tannadice winger had been confirmed. “I just have to say sorry if I have offended him in any way,” said Deila.
“It’s not a rule I have heard about before, so I have to learn from this.”
Asked if Celtic may yet stump up the £250,000 asking price to sign Mackay-Steven during the current transfer window, Deila replied: “This is not up to us. We’ll see what happens but what we do know is he’s coming in the summer. It’s too early to say something else.
“We have a lot of good players here in that position also but we’ll see what’s happening this month.”
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