Neil Lennon in talks to keep Nir Bitton at Celtic

Nir Bitton is out of contact at Celtic at the end of the season and is free to talk to other clubs in January. Picture: Craig Williamson / SNS
Nir Bitton is out of contact at Celtic at the end of the season and is free to talk to other clubs in January. Picture: Craig Williamson / SNS
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Celtic manager Neil Lennon is optimistic that he can keep Nir Bitton at the club beyond his current contract.

The Israeli internationalist is out of contract at the end of this season and free to sign a pre-contract agreement elsewhere from next month. There has been interest from Sean Dyche’s Burnley side in the 27-year-old, pictured, but the midfielder is a player whom Lennon would like to keep in his squad.

Bitton was signed by Lennon in 2013 and in recent seasons has been a useful squad player for the Parkhead side given his versatility.

“We don’t want him to go, we want him to stay,” said the Celtic manager. “So, talks are on-going.

“We don’t want him to run down his contract, for sure. He’s made indications he would like to stay and that’s what we want too.

“We’ll see how that pans out. Nir’s happy here and we’re hoping we’ll get a positive resolution to that as we go along.”

Meanwhile, Lennon is confident that the high of Celtic’s European result this week will not derail their domestic journey.

Celtic play Ross County in Dingwall this afternoon, with the Parkhead side keen to maintain their advantage at the top of the table.

“I think in the main we’ve handled the Thursday-Sunday games pretty well,” said Lennon. “But, yes, the recovery and the travelling and then the early kick-off – we have to be spot on.

“We can’t use any excuses, it’s just the totting up of the games and we want to be in all the competitions.

“The way they’re playing, the atmosphere’s good and we’re looking forward to it.”