Noel Whelan has heaped praise on Ryan Christie after Celtic reportedly prepare to offer the winger a bumper new deal to secure his long-term future.

The former Leeds United and Aberdeen striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, claimed it was imperative that the club tied the 25-year-old down to a new deal with the player entering his prime.

The Daily Record claim that Neil Lennon is ready to negotiate an improved contact with the attacking midfielder.

Christie is not out of contract until the summer of 2022 having signed his last extension in 2018.

Whelan hailed the improvement of the Scotland international and insisted his best is still to come.

“His progression has been amazing,” he told Football Insider.

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“He is fantastic. Christie has everything you would like from a wide player. He can create, he can score and has pace to burn.

“A player that any manager would want in his team. He also knows the club very well.

“Celtic have appreciated what he has done and rightly so he is rewarded with a new contract.

“He is still a good age. You do not want to let him go. He will be there for another two, three seasons with his best years still to come.”

Christie was in sublime form last season – his 43 appearances across all competitions yielded 19 goals and 16 assists.

Lennon said: “That’s an avenue we will look to pursue. He was terrific for us last year and I’ve love to give him an extension.”

In other Celtic news, it can be REVEALED the club have landed a £3.3m windfall and another £15m is on the way.

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