LUSTIG POISED FOR CRUNCH TALKS

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MIKAEL LUSTIG will have crunch talks within the next fortnight to see if he will remain at Celtic for another 12 months, at least.

The 31-year-old Swedish international defender is out of contract in the summer and no agreement for an extension has been agreed.

Lustig has a 12-month option which would extend his seven-year stay at Parkhead.

Swedish giants AIK are monitoring the former Rosenborg star’s position and are poised to make a move if he becomes a free agent at the end of the season.

Asked if he would be signing a new deal with the champions, Lustig, who has been standing in as captain for the injured Scott Brown in recent weeks, answered: “There is a one-year option in my contract and it’s up to Celtic, so we will see what happens in a couple of weeks.

“I have always said that I love this club and I love Glasgow. I am 100 per cent sure that I am going to move back to Sweden one day, so we’ll see when it is going to happen.

“I’m 32 in a couple of weeks, so we’ll have to see. I always want to play for Celtic, but I am going to be quite happy, anyway.”

ON THE BALL…Mikael Lustig in action against Hamilton Accies at the weekend. Pic: Geo.

AIK Sporting Director Bjorn Wesstrom has admitted 73-times capped Lustig is on their radar, but, at this stage, the Swedes have to wait until the Hoops and the player finalise their discussions.

The right-back, who was signed by Neil Lennon on a free transfer, said: “I know my ability and, if Celtic don’t want me, I am quite sure I am going to find a place that I am going to be happy.

“My body feels really good. I’ve played a lot of games for my country and club.

“We’ve done amazing with the Swedish team, as well, and, as long as I am playing that many games and the body still feels fine, I hope that I am still going to have a couple of more years.”

Lustig, who is in line to lead the team in the absence of Brown in the Betfred League Cup Final against Aberdeen at Hampden on Sunday, accepts the fact Brendan Rodgers will be looking for a long-term replacement.

Costa Rican international Cristian Gamboa and Scotland Under-21 star Anthony Ralston are the only back-up players available for the No.2 position at the moment.

Lustig added: “We’ve done it before that we always try to improve the team, so it’s quite normal.

“When we want to get some players into the club, it is always good for the team.

“I’m all about the team, so as long as Celtic are doing really good, I am happy.

“But, of course, I am here to fight for my position and I want to be in the starting line-up.”

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