By Wayne Veysey
Neil Lennon wants to overrule the Celtic board and keep Mikael Lustig for at least another year, Football Insider can reveal.
The Swedish defender, 32, is out of contract at the end of the month and has been served notice of the termination of his deal by the board after the club failed to take up the option to extend by 31 May deadline.
A Celtic source has told Football Insider that Lennon is eager to keep the long-serving right-back and hand him an extension to his current deal.
The Northern Irishman was appointed permanent manager last week on a 12-month rolling deal and wants to flex his muscles by keeping hold of a mainstay of the club’s dominance of Scottish football.
Lennon has spoken warmly of Lustig’s experience and pedigree, frequently describing him as a “brilliant” player, and has told the board he wants to keep him for another campaign.
The Celtic hierarchy are open to a deal, but will only offer the Sweden international an extension on a reduced wage, and will not match the salary of his soon-to-end agreement.
Lennon wants two senior right-backs for next season, and, as revealed by Football Insider on Wednesday, the Hoops have tabled a £3million bid for Sheffield United’s George Baldock.
Lustig has made 276 appearances for Celtic since his 2012 arrival from Norwegian club Rosenborg, including 44 in all competitions in the recent campaign.
As well as winning eight league crowns at the Glasgow giants, he has also won four Scottish League Cups and lifted his fourth Scottish Cup when when Celtic defeated Hearts two weekends ago.
In other Celtic news, it can be REVEALED that the Hoops have submitted a formal multi-million pound bid for a Premier League 26-year-old.