Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers has given his biggest hint yet that Hoops midfielder Stuart Armstrong could be heading for the exit door.
The former Dundee player has made 36 outings this campaign.
But before last weekend’s substitute appearance in the Old Firm derby, the 25-year-old had not featured for the champions since the 0-0 draw against Rangers at the end of December with a knee injury.
There have also been suggestions of rows between the manager and the player’s agent, Liam O’Donnell.
Armstrong only signed a 12-month extension at Park Head last summer to tie him down to the club until 2019 after long drawn-out negotiations that started last season.
And as quoted in the Daily Record, Rodgers revealed his stance on the player’s future and said: “I tend not to worry about that now.
“Players have short careers. Of course I’d love them to stay but there are numerous reasons – on both sides as there could be issues with the club too – that don’t allow them to sign.
“My job is to try to keep them and if they decide their future lies somewhere else, that’s fine.”
Football Insider verdict:
Like any player, Armstrong is replaceable and during the three-month spell on the sidelines following a knee injury in January, these comments from Rodgers make it seem as though he now considers the midfielder surplus to requirements. Rows with the player’s agent and stand-offs over contract agreements never go down well and usually end with the player departing the club. Unless a deal can be reached soon, we fully expect Armstrong to be off in the summer.