By Alex McLeish

13th Feb, 2021 | 8:00am

McLeish: Celtic don't know what to do with Bitton amid McKay claim

Alex McLeish has claimed Celtic do not know what to do with Nir Bitton ahead of the summer transfer window.

The former Rangers and Scotland manager, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, admitted the 29-year-old has failed to nail down a starting role in either the midfield or defence in recent years.

The Scottish Sun claim the 6ft 5in colossus [Transfermarkt], who still has two years left on his Parkhead contract, has been targeted for a move back to his native Israel by Maccabi Tel Aviv.

Signed as a midfielder in 2013, Bitton has played 232 times for the Bhoys so far but has primarily been used as a makeshift centre-back by Neil Lennon this term.

McLeish admitted he has not been convinced by the Israel international operating at the heart of the defence and suggested Celtic do not seem to have a place for him in their starting XI.

Asked about the possibility of Bitton leaving, McLeish told Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge: “I think that we’ll see changes at Celtic, the new man (Dominic McKay) will want to stamp his identity on proceedings.

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“Bitton, they don’t really know, he’s never really played consistently in the same position, has he? Whether he’s a midfielder or a centre-back, at centre-back I think he overplays it a wee bit.

“In saying that, I watched the game against Scotland in the play-offs when I thought: ‘He’s going to lose that ball and it’s going to be a goal for us,’ and he did a little twirl with the ball to somehow get out of it.

“He’s definitely got ability but he’s just not been a regular for Celtic in a key position.” 

In other news, Celtic fan favourite plotting to quit Parkhead in summer as price tag slashed.