Celtic’s Callum McGregor reveals parts played by Ange Postecoglou and pursuit of trophies in contract decision

There seems to have been two compelling components in Callum McGregor’s decision to devote effectively his entire career to Celtic.

Celtic captain Callum McGregor says he will play for the club as long as he is wanted after agreeing a new five-year deal. (Photo by Ross MacDonald/SNS Group).

The five-year deal signed by the club captain is a development that comes at a time of upheaval for the club, with Ange Postecoglou enduring missteps as he seeks to knit together a team’s worth of players. It is McGregor’s belief that the Australian ultimately will rise to this challenge successfully with a brand of football firmly at one with how he believes the game should be played that gave the 28-year-old no qualms about putting pen to paper on a new, long-term deal.

Dovetailing with that confidence when it comes to his decision to put himself on the path to 25 years in Celtic colours is the inner drive that has propelled him since he joined at the age of eight. McGregor doesn’t deny he has been previously tempted by the lure of the English Premier League. It is no secret former manager Brendan Rodgers pushed hard to acquire his service for Leicester City in the summer of 2018. What has kept him in Glasgow, though, is that few other clubs can rival the potential silverware riches.

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“The manager has been massive [in my contract decision], like you would expect,” McGregor said. “We have a good relationship, I see football being played the same way that he does, which is obviously vital, because his message gets filtered to me which then gets filtered to the team. We need to be on the same page in that sense. We get on really well, we have similar philosophies on football, and he’s been a massive factor. I feel the trust that he puts in me as well, so it’s a great relationship and one that I want to continue to build on.”

Equally, he wants to further build up his winners’ medal collection, following 14 major honours’ successes, and his integral role in the only quadruple treble success covering national competitions by any club in the world. The interest he received from down south would have bolstered his bank balance, certainly, but not this means of measuring his rewards from the game in his dotage.

“I think when these [offers from the English Premier League] come along, you’re only human, you have to have a think about it and see where you could maybe go. To be perfectly honest though, I’ve always been super happy here. The club have looked after me, put a lot of faith in me, and together it’s been a great story so far with so much silverware and so much history being made.

"I’m a footballer who is desperate to win things. That’s why I played football when I was a young kid. I feel like this is the best place to challenge yourself every day to get better and to win things, it’s as simple as that. I want to win and this club provides that platform for me, so I’m more than happy to stay. If I manage to see out the next five years, and it’s been a pretty successful time, we can reevaluate. If they’re still happy with me then we go again. I love playing for this club. As long as they’ll have me, I’m happy to be here.”

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