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CHRISTIE ON BRINK OF BUMPER DEAL

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RYAN CHRISTIE is on the brink of being offered a bumper new long-term deal by Celtic.

The skilful Scotland international playmaker is ready for talks with Neil Lennon about his extending his contract which still has two years to run.

Christie has been a revelation since turning the Betfred League Cup semi-final against Hearts at Murrayfield in October 2018 on its head when he came on at the interval for the injured Olivier Ntcham.

It was goalless at the time and the Inverness-born midfielder sparked off a 3-0 triumph and cemented his place in the side with the winner against Aberdeen two months later.

He had claimed 20 goals before the season was brought to a premature conclusion in mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Lennon is plotting for the forthcoming campaign – with the Premiership scheduled to kick off on August 1 – and he wants the Hoops to be at full strength for their tilt at ten.

Odsonne Edouard has already pledged he wants to be at the club when they make history and the Irishman has also stated he wants to keep Southampton pair Fraser Forster and Mohamed Elyounoussi, whose loan deals expire at the end of the month.

The Parkhead gaffer, speaking to the Daily Record, said: “That’s an avenue we will look to pursue. Ryan was terrific for us last year and I’d love to give him an extension.

“It’s all quiet right now in terms of talks because there’s been so much going on, but we’ll be picking that up again soon.

“He scored 20 goals last year and I’m sure he would have added more if the season had gone on. That’s a fantastic return for a wide man.

“But it wasn’t just his goals. It was his all-round game that was so important for us.

“It’s like James Forrest and a good few others, they really weighed in and Ryan was right at the top, as well.”

 
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