Ronny Deila is being frustrated in his desire to offer James Forrest a new contract for the unusual reason that Celtic cannot seem to make contact with the player’s elusive agent.
The Celtic manager claims Dave Baldwin, Forrest’s agent, is proving hard to pin down. But Deila hopes he might appear for contract talks in the coming days “like Santa”.
“We are trying to get in contact with the agent of Jamesie, I think he is interested to stay,” said Deila, with the winger’s current deal set to expire in 12 months’ time.
While time is not yet of the essence Deila explained that talks are being held up because contacting the player’s agent has been problematic.
“We have tried to get hold of his agent so you can write that when he has time, he can come in and discuss an offer,” he said.
“We have tried for a while so hopefully he will come – like Santa. Maybe he has a lot to do. I don’t know how many players he has. It doesn’t concern me but hopefully we will get contact now and start talking.”
If and when all parties are finally seated around the table, Deila believes Forrest, who is enjoying an extended run of form and fitness, would be better served by extending his stay at Celtic.
“We have a good organisation for him here,” he added. “We give him time. We have built him up. If he is going to continue developing, he needs to stay here for a longer period because I think we have just seen the start of it.”
Deila also revealed that talks have begun with striker Leigh Griffiths to extend his contract, which is due to expire in 18 months. “We have talked about an extension and we have very high hopes,” he said. “He wants to stay and we want to keep him.”