Neil Lennon reveals the indispensable Celtic player he is building his squad around
It won't be news to fans of the Scottish champions, or those with a passing interest in Scottish football, that Callum McGregor plays a pivotal part in the club's success.
The Scotland international is capable of dominating games on his own, setting the tempo and piecing the team together.
There was chatter that Brendan Rodgers would look to take the 26-year-old to Leicester City, but to the surprise of Lennon, Celtic fans and many in Scottish football no offers from the Foxes or anyone else for that matter have been forthcoming.
That is music to the Parkhead boss and support.
“I am surprised," Lennon admitted regarding the lack of offers. "I’m very happy that there’s not, because he’d be probably the last one I’d want to leave, along with a couple of others, or even be unsettled at this stage. He’s pivotal to what we want to do going forward.
"Callum's just brilliant. He’s just absolutely brilliant. The more he churns them out the more people take him for granted but I don’t take his performances for granted."
Netting the winner against FK Sarajevo on Wednesday, Lennon wants mores goals from the midfielder who hit six last campaign.
He said: "It’s a hard thing to do what Callum does, week in, week out at such a high level, and then he goes and gets the winner on Wednesday night as well. I think there’s more goals in him this season as well, hopefully."
The Northern Irishman is building the team around him to unearth his very best but is aware that an offer could come in. One which they would find very hard to turn down.
“It wouldn’t surprise me because he’s a top player. He really came to prominence under Brendan but we want him here and we want him to play in the Champions League. We’re trying to make the right inroads to keep him happy and keep him at a top level.
“Every player has his price. I said to you the other day that Ronaldo went from Manchester United, the biggest club in the world. You know where we are with Kieran. We don’t want to sell any more top players if we can avoid it. The squad is a little bit thin at the minute anyway, a couple of injuries and we would lack a bit of strength in depth.”