Good news as Celtic favourite reaffirms desire to stay at Parkhead

Celtic midfielder Nir Bitton has made it clear he has no desire to leave the club, amid rumours linking him with a move to Israeli Premier League side Maccabi Haifa, reports  The S*n.

The 26-year-old joined Celtic from FC Ashdod in 2013 and has gone on to make 171 appearances in all competitions, scoring and creating 26 goals.

He’s won four Scottish Premiership titles, two Scottish League Cups and one Scottish Cup in his five years at the club.

Bitton has endured an injury-hit season in 2017/18, making only 14 Scottish Premiership appearances as a knee problem has cut his playing time short.

His last game for Brendan Rodgers’ side was Celtic’s 1-0 league defeat to Kilmarnock on February 3. Bitton was a regular at the start of the season, starting nine of their opening 13 games, he’s since only made one league start since December 2017.

Given the lack of playing time, there were suggestions he could return to Israel and play for top-flight side Maccabi Haifa. However, the 20-cap international plans to see out his contract at Parkhead.

He said:

“I am not going back to Israel, it’s not on my agenda. I am currently injured and I am under contract with Celtic until 2020. I am not interested in a transfer.”

It’s good news for Celtic as the 26-year-old has been a favourite for some time. He made 39 appearances in all competitions last season as the Hoops claimed a domestic treble in Rodgers’ debut campaign in Scotland, but he won’t return from his injury until 2018/19 now.

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Crippy Cooke

Crippy can be found on Twitter (@CrippyCooke) He is a sports journalist who has written for the Independent, Bleacher Report, Huffington Post, Daily Mail and Daily Telegraph among others. Crippy treats football gossip with a dash of cynicism and loves tearing apart outlandish rumours.