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CELT’S CONTRACT BOOST

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NIR BITTON is about to land a contract extension at Celtic to cap his courageous fightback from a long-term knee problem.

The Israeli international has been a stand-out stand-in as an emergency central defender this season with the Hoops beset with injuries in the heart of the rearguard.

Bitton has answered Neil Lennon’s SOS and was immense alongside £7million man Christopher Jullien before being forced off with an injury in the 66th minute of the 2-0 triumph at Ibrox.

The 27-year-old midfielder’s current contract expires at the end of the season and the manager has admitted discussions may soon be underway regrading a new deal.

Lennon, speaking to the Daily Record, said: “I was delighted with the way he was playing, he’s been outstanding whether he has played in midfield or at centre-half.

“Sometimes he can be a bit too composed!

“But from what I’ve seen of him lately, he’s been absolutely superb. There’s a maturity about him as well that has pleased me.

“Obviously, we know about his contract situation and that’s something we’ll be looking to change as we go along, too. Hopefully, we can get it sorted soon.”

Unfortunately, Bitton will miss today’s match against Hamilton Accies after being ruled out for the rest of this month with a hamstring injury.

The elegant Israeli has been at Parkhead for six years after Lennon signed him in a £900,000 deal from his homeland team FC Ashdod in August 2013.

* DON’T miss the unbeatable match report and best action images from Hamilton Accies v Celtic this afternoon – only in your champion CQN.

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