By Pete O’Rourke and Wayne Veysey
Celtic are ready to offer Nir Bitton an improved contract after he rejected their opening offer, Football Insider has learned.
The Israel colossus, 27, is out of contract at the end of the season and the Scottish champions are eager for him to be tied down to an extension.
A Celtic source has told Football Insider that the club have tabled one offer to Bitton that was knocked back and are now set to submit an improved one.
Talks have been underway for some time between the 23-times international and the club following his renaissance since Neil Lennon took over as manager for a second time.
Bitton has made 11 appearances this season for Celtic, including starts at centre-back in all four of their Scottish Premiership matches.
He will be sidelined for the next few weeks with a hamstring injury sustained in the Old Firm win over Rangers before the international break but Lennon is a big admirer of the versatile operator.
Bitton has spent most of his career in central midfield but has dropped back to defence this season following a series of injuries to the club’s senior centre-backs, including Jozo Simunovic and Kristoffer Ajer.
He has made 192 appearances for Celtic since signing from FC Ashdod in 2013, and his last contract was signed in 2015.