'You don't let players like that go' - Exclusive: Celtic in last-ditch bid to keep £20K-a-wk ace

Noel Whelan admits he would love to see Craig Gordon extend his stay at Celtic this summer after he became a free agent.

The former Aberdeen striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, believes the shot-stopper could use his experience in a coaching capacity as well as offering Neil Lennon an option between the sticks.

As reported by Football Insider yesterday, the 37-year-old has been offered a new deal but on significantly reduced terms to stay at the club.

He has been at Parkhead since 2014 but has fallen down the pecking order over the last 18 months and is not being offered the same £20,000-a-week terms.

However, Whelan believes there is still a place for Gordon at Celtic and insists it would be a huge shame to see him leave the Glasgow giants.

Whelan told Football Insider: “He’s been there a long time, a great servant to the club – maybe they’re not ready to let him go. Maybe there’s something in the capacity of a coaching role for him there.

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“I think that would be massively beneficial not only to the club but to young players coming through as well. You don’t get many better; an international, knows the club inside out, won things over and over again with Celtic.

“You don’t just let players like that go without thinking can we fit him in somewhere within this club – if not in a playing capacity, then in a coaching role.

“He’s got so much to offer young players coming through that it would be a shame to see a player like that disappear from Celtic when he’s given so much service to that football club.

“Maybe there is something there and maybe they’re waiting for something to come out that will say he will be a coach at the football club. I would love to see that happen because I think he’s got too much to offer these young players.”

In other Celtic news, Alex Bruce insists the Bhoys “must have signings lined up” with a big-name exit on the cards.