Exclusive: Celtic big earner tipped for exit as talks begin next week with new club

Noel Whelan believes Craig Gordon could be tempted to turn down the chance to stay at Celtic if he can be guaranteed first-team football at St Mirren.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Leeds and Aberdeen striker insists the 37-year-old has to be honest with himself and decide whether he still has what it takes to play in Scotland’s top flight.

The Scottish Sun report that St Mirren have tabled a contract offer for the in-demand shot-stopper and that talks are set to take place over a potential move next week.

Celtic have also made an offer to keep him at Parkhead but the keeper, whose expiring contract is worth £20,000-a-week, is desperate for first-team football to force himself back into the Scotland side.

Whelan admits that it is difficult to admit when your time is up as a footballer and suggests Gordon could turn the Hoops down to end his career out on the pitch.

Asked if he thought the 54-cap keeper would be tempted by the move, Whelan told Football Insider: “Well of course. Any player coming to the end of their career, even myself, even when I retired I wanted to come back.

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“I tried a couple of times but injury stopped me. Your head says yes but your body very quickly tells you no. You’ve got to come terms with that and sometimes that is difficult to come to terms with, that you’ll never play again.

“Maybe he wants to string it out as long as he can. If something’s on the table and you feel like you’ve still got something to offer, then why not? But you’ve got to understand that football takes a lot out of your body. 

“He’s played for a number of years, thrown himself to the ground, taken knocks, you’ve got to be honest with yourself, can you still do it?

“Maybe he’s weighing up options and that is a good option. It’s not far from Glasgow, St Mirren, so it’s a possibility there that club and player can maybe squeeze that last bit of juice out of him.” 

In other Celtic news, Alan Hutton has revealed he is hearing that a Premier League side are plotting a big-money raid at Parkhead this summer.