Alex McLeish has urged Celtic to trigger Leigh Griffith’s extension clause ahead of next week’s reported deadline.

The former Scotland boss, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, suggested the 30-year-old could emulate Kyle Lafferty after the Kilmarnock hitman’s “incredible” form in recent weeks.

As reported by the Scottish Sun, Celtic have until the end of the month to trigger a one-year extension clause in Griffiths’ contract.

Celtic

If the Hoops choose not to take up the option, said to be worth £1million to Griffiths, then he will become a free agent this summer.

The striker has scored seven goals in 24 games this term, including a last-minute equaliser against Aberdeen in midweek.

However, only nine of his appearances have come among the starting XI.

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Meanwhile, Lafferty has netted 10 goals in only eight matches since returning to Scotland with Killie.

McLeish admitted the Northern Ireland star had proved age is but a number.

As such, he suggested Griffiths could follow suit if Celtic triggered his extension clause.

Asked if he would keep the striker for another season, Mcleish told Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge: “I would say they have to.

“At the moment, there’s nobody who has come in. Nobody has come in and said: ‘New broom, sweep it clean. We’re going to get rid of five or six,’ and the new man brings in his own men.

“Then perhaps Leigh could be a victim there. But I would have thought he would have been extremely handy to keep around. I think there’s a good example of an experienced striker doing well when you look at Kilmarnock in recent weeks, Kyle Lafferty. He’s been banging them in.

“When I saw him at Rangers, I thought the big man’s getting towards the end of his career, his legs are not what they were. He’s so sharp at the moment. That is incredible.

“It’s just a good striker with the knowledge and he knows what he’s doing. A good intelligent footballer and a guy who knows his position extremely well.”

In other news, this is who Keane will sign if he becomes the new Celtic manager.