MAKESHIFT centre-half Nir Bitton insists is adamant he will stay at Celtic and fight for his future at the six-in-a-row champions.

The Israeli midfielder has been drafted into the middle of the rearguard after answering an SOS from Brendan Rodgers with Dedryck Boyata and Erik Sviatchenko injured.

Bitton’s long-term prospects appeared to be in jeopardy in the second half of last season after losing his first team place, a situation that alerted would-be suitors throughout Europe.

However, the cultured 25-year-old ace said: “Some people just don’t understand that when you play for Celtic it is a huge club. This is one of the biggest clubs in Europe.

“When you get a chance to play for a club like this, you do your very best to stay here.

“You don’t leave this club for every offer that comes along. It’s not the same when you don’t play, but I will always to my best to help this club.


“Every game I play here is the same as 10 games for another club.

“I don’t think about it (offers). There are people who work behind the scenes on that, but I don’t think about it.

“I’m happy in Glasgow and at Celtic. I really enjoy it.””

Bitton, who set up Celtic’s first goal for Leigh Griffiths against Hearts on Saturday with a laserbeam pass from his own half, added: “Do I like playing in defence? I like playing!

“It doesn’t matter where I play. As long as the gaffer gives me my chance in the team, I will do my best.

“Our centre backs have been really unlucky to get injured and I have to play. I hope they come back soon and stronger.

“Now there’s me and Jozo Simunovic. And I am better than Jozo! I’m just kidding.

“But I’ve played there a few times before and it’s similar to defensive midfield. If you are a professional, you need to be able to adapt and do your best. And I will always do my best to help the team.

“Centre-back is not about being a hard man. If you look at centre backs in the biggest clubs in Europe, they are not the strongest or the quickest, but they can read the game and understand the position.

“Some managers like to play long balls and fighting for second balls, but Brendan Rodgers’ philosophy is about moving the ball quickly, keeping possession and not just kicking the ball up the pitch.

“I think all the centre backs at Celtic can play out from the back. I don’t look at it like it’s my best chance to stay in the team or not.

“When you play for Celtic there’s always competition no matter what position you play.

“I was brought here as a midfielder, but I’m now playing centre back. I just enjoy playing.”

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