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FLUSH GORDON AS KEEPER IS SET FOR NEW CELTIC DEAL

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CELTIC are poised to hand Craig Gordon a bumper new deal to keep him from the clutches of Chelsea.

Brendan Rodgers is adamant the Scotland international goalkeeper is going nowhere with just four days to go before the close of the transfer window.

The London club are prepared to offer in excess of £3million for the 34-year-old shotstopper, but the Hoops boss is defiant after having held talks with the player.

Rodgers insists Gordon must be offered a new contract to reward the comeback keeper for his consistent performances for the champions this season as they head for six successive crowns.

He said: “Craig is enjoying it here, but, as a club, we have to look after him as well. That’s the message.

“I always say: ‘Look after the roof when it’s sunny. Don’t wait to fix it when it’s raining’.

“The best clubs do that and Craig is in a brilliant position now. He’s in pole position.

“I made it clear that he is someone we want to keep and that, of course, will be looked at. That’s natural.

“I don’t think there is any doubt it was something that was going to happen.

“Coming to this part of the season, that’s what you do and that’ll be the case.

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“The message is simple. There are 18 months left on his contract and I have absolutely no interest in selling him, especially with four days left in a window.

“Craig’s a player I have spoken about to the people at the club and said I had wanted to retain long before this interest.

“What we are trying to build here is quite an exciting period and I want him to be a big part of that.

“I’d want Craig to be here for the next three or four years.

“There has been absolutely nowhere near the valuation. I don’t like to put valuations on because then it’s a stigma.

“But everyone is looking for top goalkeepers. There is talk of Asmir Begovic being £10 or £12million, so you are not going to sell one and bring one in to replace him for say £2 or £3million, are you?

“Why would you do it? You wouldn’t.”

Chelsea are looking for a replacement with the possibility of their deputy keeper Begovic joining Bournemouth and may launch an improved bid.

However, Rodgers insisted it will be a waste of time.

Asked if he was certain Gordon would be at Celtic on February 1, he answered: “Yeah, absolutely. Because the strength is with the club.

“There are 18 months left here and where do I get another goalkeeper at this stage, when I am looking to build something?

“It’s been a long, hard road for Craig in the opening period here to get to the level where I wanted him to be at, but he took it on board and trained hard and tactically he understood it.

“So, I’m not really of the mindset to throw all of that out and be left having to look for another Champions League goalkeeper.

“I don’t know if Chelsea will come back in. It depends on how much they want him.

“I also know the people there. I know the technical director Michael Emenalo well and they will respect our position.

“It’s football business. It’s what happens and there is no problem with that.

“We stay calm. The strength is with us and there is no wavering from us.”

 
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