Tom Rogic and Nir Bitton to depart Celtic as long-serving duo set for emotional farewell

Tom Rogic and Nir Bitton will play their last games for Celtic this weekend after deciding to move on at the end of the season, the club has confirmed.

The long-serving duo will bid an emotional farewell during Saturday’s league trophy presentation match against Motherwell before bringing the curtain down on their Celtic Park careers having amassed 34 trophies between them over nearly a decade of service.

Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou revealed it was the players’ own decision to part company with the club as he wished them well for the future.

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“While we are very sad to see both Tom and Nir leave the club, we totally respect their decisions in wanting to seek a different challenge in football, having both played their part in our success for the past decade," he said.

“They have certainly made such a tremendous contribution to Celtic over such a long and successful period for the club and I understand that in their minds the time is right to move on.

“I am sure they will leave with the sincere best wishes of our supporters having given so much of themselves to Celtic.

“From a personal perspective, as well as being very talented players, both Tom and Nir are top guys who have supported me brilliantly this year, in my first season – and again played a big role in this season’s success.

'It is fitting that they leave Celtic as champions.

Tom Rogic (right) and Nir Bitton are leaving Celtic this summer. (Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group)

“Of course we will miss them, but we wish both Tom and Nir, and their families, great success in everything they do.”

Rogic signed from Central Coast Mariners during the January window of 2013 at the age of 20 and became a fans favourite, scoring 46 goals in 271 appearances, while picking up six championship medals, five Scottish cups and five League Cups.

His Celtic career looked to be over last summer before the arrival of Postecoglou, his former Australia coach, rejuvenated the midfielder with the 29-year-old playing a pivotal role in reclaiming the title from Rangers.

Rogic said: “I want to sincerely thank everyone at the club and all our supporters for everything that has been given to me while I have been at Celtic. It has been a phenomenal journey, with some magical moments - it has been an honour to be a part of this experience.

“It has been a privilege to play for the Celtic supporters, the best in football I have ever experienced and the great times I have been part of will stay with me forever.

“While I am so sad to leave, I feel so proud to be part of a team that has delivered the title again for our fans. The club is in a great position and I know the manager will take the club on and deliver more and more success.

“Celtic will always be in my heart and part of my life and I wish the club and our fans nothing but success for the future.”

Israeli internationalist Bitton joined in the summer of the same year from FC Ashdod and made his debut in the San Siro against AC Milan in the UEFA Champions League in September. He amassed 269 appearances including stints in defence and midfield, scoring 14 goals and picked up eight titles, four Scottish Cups and six League Cups.

Bitton added: “When I came to Celtic I never thought I would be part of such exciting times and it truly has been amazing to be part of such a great club.

“I have worked with some great managers and team-mates and I thank them all for those times and all we achieved together.

'We have dominated the game here for so long and now this year as champions we have done it again, something us as players and supporters we should all be really proud of.'

“After a season of real hard work, when many never gave us a chance, we are champions again – the whole squad, manager and our staff were determined to deliver this to our fans.

“I want to thank everyone at the club and our fans for the support I have received during my time at Celtic and I wish the club absolute success for the future.”

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