Exclusive: McNamara suggests talks held at Celtic over future of first-team giant

Jackie McNamara suggests that Celtic have held talks behind the scenes over the future of Nir Bitton as he heads into the final months of his contract at Parkhead.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Bhoys and Scotland star says that the Israeli international’s place at Parkhead will be something the Hoops are looking at ahead of the January transfer window, suggesting a new deal could be on the cards if he remains until the end of the season.

As revealed by Football Insider, the imposing midfielder is in the sights of Premier League side Burnley over what could be a bargain move south of the border, with preliminary talks held over a potential switch to the Premier League.

However, McNamara suggests that his current club will have also been in discussions over keeping him in Glasgow past the end of his current deal.

McNamara told Football Insider: “He had done well at the start of the season and I’m sure they’ll get round to tying up the ones they want to very soon.

“I think will time will tell what they want to do. They may have held talks already, obviously we’ll find out in due course if he’s here past January and if he’s going to tie down a new deal, or if they give him a new deal before that.

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“I think he’s stated that he wanted to stay. Looking at it, I think it’ll be a case of seeing where he’s at.”

Bitton has played a total of 196 times for the Hoops in a six-and-a-half-year spell at Parkhead, the 6ft 5in colossus [Transfermarkt] used in both midfield and attack by Neil Lennon.

This season has seen him turn out in 15 games across all competitions, 10 of those outings coming in the starting XI.

In other Celtic news, it can be REVEALED that a £20,000-a-week Hoops ace is plotting move to QUIT the club and retire.