Teams will be queuing up to sign Leigh Griffiths if Celtic choose not to trigger an extension clause in his contract.
That is the view of former Scotland defender Alan Hutton who, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, admitted the striker’s future is in limbo without a permanent manager at Parkhead.
According to the Scottish Sun, the 30-year-old could be available on a free this summer if Celtic do not take up their option of extending his deal until 2022.
It is said the Hoops have until the end of the month to trigger the extension clause, which is worth close to £1million for Griffiths.
The Scotland international has suffered a frustrating season at Parkhead amid fitness and injury problems.
He was lambasted by former boss Neil Lennon for returning to training overweight and out of shape last summer.
Meanwhile, he is yet to start a league game under interim manager John Kennedy.
Speaking in 2019, Chris Sutton insisted an in-form Griffiths was like a “£20million signing” after scoring some “phenomenal” goals for Celtic.
Hutton admitted without a permanent boss in place, the decision over the striker’s future would fall to the board.
He suggested the Scottish hitman would have no problem finding a new club if he was allowed to leave Parkhead.
“These are the problems we’re talking about by not appointing a manager now,” Hutton told Football Insider’s Russell Edge.
“Things like this are going to happen. There’s going to be boys out of contract. There are going to be loans going away that maybe they want to try and keep. You just don’t know. I presume it’ll be the board and John Kennedy that will make those decisions.
“Leigh Griffiths, it’s been a difficult year for him. Whether in his mind he’s thinking: ‘Well, I fancy a fresh start, whether it be Hibs or Aberdeen or whatever.’
“He’s got a lot of football left in him so I don’t really see him being as worried.
“Yes, he’d probably want to stay at Celtic and be their main striker. We don’t know if that’s going to be the case because we don’t know who the manager is going to be.
“I think he’ll just be sitting saying: ‘Well, let’s see how it plays out. If Celtic decide they don’t want me…’ I’m sure, I’m positive, there’ll be a queue of clubs wanting to take Leigh Griffiths on a free.”