Celtic want to extend Cameron Carter-Vickers' contract - 'his happiness is here'

Rodgers believes key defender is settled and enjoying life in Glasgow

Concerns that Cameron Carter-Vickers could be spirited away from Celtic before the end of the January transfer window have been heightened by the source making such claims.

It has been sources in America – apparently close to the US international’s representatives – that have been stating in recent days that the Celtic pivot is on the wanted list of West Ham and Brentford. Yet, just as Brendan Rodgers is relaxed about retaining Matt O’Riley for second half of the season in the face of feverish speculation over illustrious suitors, so the Northern Irishman doesn’t “lie in bed awake at night” worried about losing a crucial component of his team. Instead, his focus is on-going discussions over a contract extension for the 26-year-old. Even as he has doubts that the £6million signing from Spurs who is now in his third season in Glasgow is English Premier League standard. The level he expects the player to be exhibiting for Celtic in coming months following a niggle-induced stop-start season thus far, the result of being denied a full pre-season following a knee operation.

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“There is no doubt he is one of the pillars of the team and of course we would want to [extend his deal]. That will happen in time, I’m sure,” Rodgers said. “There have been talks on that between the club and his representatives so let’s see where it goes. His happiness is here. Him and his partner, whom I’ve met, absolutely love it up here

Celtic defender Cameron Carter-Vickers.Celtic defender Cameron Carter-Vickers.
Celtic defender Cameron Carter-Vickers.

“From what I’ve seen and from what I’ve worked with he can play at that level. He needed to come away [from Spurs and a series of loan deals] and find the pressures here. But there’s no doubt. When I see the likes of him and the young guy Marc Guéhi at Crystal Palace they are similar centre-halves, the number two centre half playing alongside the big one. He is off that ilk. He has all the tools. But we want to keep him here.

“We’ve had a conversation and he’s absolutely loved it here. He’s been around a few clubs down south and coming here he recognises the magnitude of the club, he’s become a winner here, he’s settled, played virtually for 18 months. He picked up the injury at the end of last season which then probably curtailed his pre-season which has then had a knock-on effect for part of this season, when I think he was probably chasing it a bit.

“But I hope now into the second part of the season he can get back to the player he’s shown here. When you have someone with that game idea, he understands how I want to work and his power and strength and game view, he’s been fantastic. So he’s a player I really want to keep, of course.

“It’s always nice when you come into work with players, it’s why I reserve total judgement. You can watch them from the outside. It’s like Matt O’Riley, there were things you were thinking ‘ok, you can see his qualities but does he have this?’ Then you see him close up and Cam’s the same. You see how strong and robust he is. He knows the game – can defend small and big spaces – which helps, and he can play football.”