John Kennedy: I expect Celtic to complete deal for 25-year-old midfielder
By Will Butcher
Celtic assistant John Kennedy believes in-demand midfielder Stuart Armstrong will put pen to paper on a new deal in the near future.
Armstrong, 25, has been one of the key members of Celtic’s treble-winning side this season, as Brendan Rodgers became just the third manager in the Hoops’ history to achieve the feat.
The Express claim Armstrong’s form for the 48-time Scottish champions has seen him attract attention from down south, with Brighton, Burnley and Everton all said to be keen.
Speaking to the Scottish Herald, Rodgers’ right-hand man Kennedy believes Armstrong will put pen to paper at Celtic despite interest from the Premier League.
“Talks have been going pretty well with Stuart and his representatives and the club,” Kennedy said. “Stuart has loved it here and I think he is in a very good place.
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“As far as I’m aware, Stuart is in a very good place and wants to get it done. Hopefully things will be done pretty soon.”
Celtic’s number 14 has been in sublime form with the Hoops, scoring 17 goals in 47 league and cup encounters from midfield.
Armstrong capped off his marvellous 2016-17 campaign by scoring in Celtic’s Scottish Cup final triumph against Aberdeen on Saturday, equalising before Tom Rogic struck in injury time to win 2-1.
His form has even seen him earn a call-up to Gordon Strachan’s Scotland side, making his debut in a World Cup qualifier against Slovenia as he helped Scotland earn a 1-0 win.
Celtic’s number 14 has just 12 months remaining on his current deal, but Kennedy is confident that the Hoops can secure his long-term future at Celtic Park in the foreseeable future.
Football Insider verdict:
Rodgers must do all he can to keep his in-form stars at Lennoxtown this summer in order to boost his chances of completing a second successive double and going one better in the Champions League. The likes of Kieran Tierney, Moussa Dembele and Arsmtrong are all likely to be the subject of interest from Premier League clubs, but Rodgers should ignore all bids for the in-demand trio and instead look to add quality to what he has already got. That means striking a deal for Armstrong is of vital importance if he wants to maintain Celtic’s dominance of Scottish football.
In other Celtic transfer news, the Hoops are said to be interested in this Premier League winger who suffered relegation in his first season.