James Forrest eager to agree new Celtic deal after Neil Lennon urges club to extend winger’s contract

James Forrest has expressed his desire to agree a new contract with Celtic as soon as possible after manager Neil Lennon publicly urged the club to further extend the winger’s current deal.

Celtic manager Neil Lennon wants James Forrest to remain a one-club man. Picture: SNS
Celtic manager Neil Lennon wants James Forrest to remain a one-club man. Picture: SNS

Scotland’s reigning Player of the Year only signed his latest contract in September last year, committing himself to Celtic until the summer of 2022. But Lennon wants Forrest, a product of the Scottish champions’ academy system, to be handed enhanced terms which ensure he remains a one-club man.

The 28-year-old has welcomed Lennon’s words and revealed he would be happy to sign a deal which effectively tied him to Celtic for the rest of his career.

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“The manager spoke about it in the press, which was really good,” said Forrest. “You feel good when the staff at the club want you to stay.

“It’s obviously a busy time for the club with the transfer window ongoing, but I would love to get it done soon and just concentrate on football.

“I’ve not hidden the fact that I’d like to extend. It’s a busy period at the moment with a lot of games coming thick and fast, but when the time is right, I’d love to commit to stay here for as long as I can.

“Nowadays you don’t get many one-club players, but there’s not many clubs like Celtic in the world.

“The fan base and everything about the club is incredible. I’ve really seen that over the last few years, and I’d love to stay a part of that for as long as I can.

“Happiness is important. If you ask any footballer, you want to enjoy your career and that’s how I feel at Celtic.”

While the lure of English football is not a factor for Forrest, speculation continues over whether his Celtic team-mate, Kieran Tierney, will become an Arsenal player before the Premier League transfer window closes on Thursday.

“Ask anyone in our dressing room, we all want him to still be here,” said Forrest. “He’s been a great player for us and everyone is hoping that come Friday he is still here.

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“We want him to get back playing for us. He came with us for pre-season and we still see him at training every day. But considering how long the talk about Arsenal has gone on, I think he’s handled it really well.

“He’s still only 22, so he’s coped well. Every day, there seems to be something new in the story, but he’s just keeping himself to himself and 
working hard. That’s credit to him.”