By Noel Whelan

12th Dec, 2020 | 2:04pm

Pundit Exclusive: Celtic tipped to make statement amid reported contract talks

Noel Whelan has insisted Celtic could make a big statement by tying Jeremie Frimpong down to a new contract after an “awful” season at Parkhead.

The former Aberdeen and Leeds striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, questioned whether the right-back would rather take on a “new challenge” than commit his future to the Bhoys.

The Scottish Sun report Celtic are in talks over a new contract with the 20-year-old amid interest from Premier League outfit Southampton as well as English Championship sides.

The young wing-back’s current terms, which were signed when he joined last summer, are set to run until 2023.

He has established himself as a mainstay in Neil Lennon’s side despite initially arriving as a prospect for the under-23s.

However, Whelan has admitted Frimpong may take some convincing to sign a new contract at Celtic Park.

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Whelan told Football Insider: “You’re looking at a player that is wanted by clubs in the Championship and the Premier League and Celtic have had an awful season up to date, that’s the way you’re looking at it.

“That’s the difference now, is there a player that’s happy there and wants to stay or does he want a new challenge because of the way things have gone for them this year? That’s the big point.

“If he does sign another contract, it says a lot about Celtic, the manager and the club, the player wanting to be there. That is the main bit for me.

“If he does sign another contract, it shows his commitment to the club and that he knows he’s at a very good club that could be turned around despite a very poor season so far.

“If he doesn’t, it shows that you’ve got another player there, along with about three or four, who want to change and want out of the club.” 

In other Celtic news, the Hoops have been told they can beat Everton and West Ham to new signing.