CELTIC have slapped a ‘No Sale’ sign on midfielder Callum McGregor after a hush-hush approach from Brendan Rodgers before Thursday’s England transfer deadline.
The Irishman is a massive admirer of the Scotland international playmaker, but the former Hoops boss was told to look elsewhere for Leicester City recruits.
Following Kieran Tierney’s £25million switch to Arsenal, there was no way the champions, in pursuit of nine in a row in a crucial campaign, would be persuaded in allowing McGregor to take the same route.
The Glaswegian, 26, signed a five-year deal in December last year, but manager Neil Lennon is now hoping to reward the player with a lucrative contract to keep him at Parkhead.
The Bhoys gaffer, speaking to the Daily Record, admitted: “There was an approach for Callum. We knew about it and there’s no more to it.
“We made it pretty clear that we wanted Callum to stay. He’s an important player here.
“We want him to continue in the same vein as the last two or three seasons. Callum’s good. I had a chat with him on Friday morning. He’s absolutely fine about it.
“Clubs from other countries might show interest in some of the players, but as far we are concerned our important players are not for sale.
“Callum certainly comes into that bracket.”
Lennon added: ““We will possibly look to tie him down for longer.
“That’s something we may talk about with his representatives as we go along.”
McGregor will be in his usual berth in the midfield when Scotland’s title kings take on Motherwell at Fir Park at midday and will demonstrate once again why he has become such a key player in the first team squad during the treble treble success.
Three players who will miss the game, though, are right-back Hatem Abd Elhamed and winger Mikey Johnston, who are both injured, and centre-back Jozo Simunovic, who will be serving the econd of his two-match suspension following his red card in the goalless pre-season friendly against St Gallen in Switzerland.
* DON’T miss the unbeatable match report from Motherwell v Celtic this afternoon – only in your champion CQN.