Callum McGregor is in line to become the new Celtic captain and commit the rest of his career to the club, Football Insider understands.
McGregor was tempted to leave on both occasions but Celtic blocked him and a source has told Football Insider he is earmarked to replace Scott Brown when he leaves as the club captain.
That could be as early as this summer, when the 35-year-old’s contract is due to expire.
Brown may yet stay on in a new role, potentially as a player-coach, although nothing has been agreed yet and much will depend upon the huge changes expected on and off the pitch.
Whatever the outcome of those McGregor’s place in the new era is secure and he will be one of the pillars of a rebuilt team.
He has barely missed a game for Celtic in recent years and is one of the few players to have maintained his standards during a calamitous campaign.
McGregor is also increasingly regarded as a dressing room leader and influential voice off the pitch.
His Celtic credentials are impeccable and he already has made 315 appearances for the club.
The source explained that the Scottish giants knocked back enquiries from Leicester for McGregor in both 2019 and 2020.
Brendan Rodgers’ side were willing to pay £20m for the Hoops midfielder but Celtic made it clear the central midfielder would not be sold at any price.
Celtic announced in November 2019 that McGregor had put pen to paper on a five-year contract that ties him to the club until the summer of 2024.
The 26-times Scotland international has made 39 appearances this season, scoring four goals and providing six assists.