By Alex Stevens
Nir Bitton’s agent has hit back over claims the Celtic midfielder was banished from the Israel national team for refusing to take part in a training exercise.
Reports in the Israeli media earlier alleged the midfielder threw a tantrum because he had been told it was unlikely he would start his country’s World Cup 2018 qualifier against Albania on Saturday.
It looks as if the Celtic player’s international career is now over after the Israel Football Association revealed he will never again be selected while Elisha Levy remains manager.
But Bitton’s agent Dudu Dahan rubbished the claim that his client was unprofessional.
“The message issued by the association to the media this afternoon is not accurate and does great injustice to Nir,” Dahan said, as quoted by the Daily Record.
“Every coach who has coached the player in the last decade, abroad and with the Israel national team, will talk about zero discipline problems both professionally and personally.”
Just in from the Israel Football Association: Celtics Nir Bitton has been released from Israel National Team duty for disciplinary reasons.
— Raphael Gellar (@Raphael_Gellar) November 10, 2016
A statement from the Israeli FA said Bitton won’t win another cap under manager Levy.
It read: “It is the end of the story for Nir Bitton in the national team under the current coach.”
Israel lie fourth in qualifying Group G, below leaders Spain, Italy and Albania.
Bitton, 25, was a fixture of the Celtic side last season and at the start of this campaign but has since fallen out of favour, with Brendan Rodgers preferring to start Stuart Armstrong.
In other Celtic news, fans have reacted with humour on Twitter to Joey Barton quitting Rangers.