Fraser Forster focused only on Celtic

Celtic goalkeeper Fraser Forster says that he had few concerns about the absence of high-profile Old Firm games when he considered his future this summer.

Forster rejected interest from elsewhere to sign a four-year contract at Celtic Park in the week it was confirmed there would be no top-flight football at Ibrox for the first time since the Scottish league began in 1889-90.

However, the 24-year-old paid little thought to the Rangers newco’s destiny when he decided to make a permanent move from Newcastle after two years on loan at Parkhead.

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Forster is determined to prove himself in the Champions League and continue benefiting from first-team football after failing to earn a chance at his local club.

Forster said: “Celtic as a football club speaks for itself.

“We have got the chance to play in Europe again which I’m delighted about. With the size of the club and the European chance, it was too good to turn down.

“Not many keepers get the chance to play in Europe.

“We did well last season as a squad so there was a bit of interest elsewhere but I always knew I would be back here.

“I think this is the right move at this point. I’ve progressed a lot in the last few years, it’s important I keep doing that and keep playing first-team football.”

Forster added: “Obviously the Old Firm games were big games but every game is a challenge in its own way. That, combined with Europe, should make for a good season.

“They were a big part of the SPL. But you have just got to look at the positives and move on.”

Forster put the delay in agreeing a deal with Celtic down to holidays from both parties.

Manager Neil Lennon has always stated Forster was his first choice but he confirmed Scotland No 2 goalkeeper Craig Gordon, who remains a free agent after leaving Sunderland, had come into his thoughts.

Gordon failed to regain his place at the Stadium of Light after various injury setbacks since his record £9 million move from Hearts and Lennon added: “For every position you have to have options.

“Fraser might not have signed and Craig was one of those options.”