Celtic manager Neil Lennon has confirmed talks are underway over a new contract for Odsonne Edouard, as the Scottish champions look to fend off interest from Premier League clubs.
The Hoops won the Premiership for a ninth consecutive season last month after the season was curtailed prematurely due to the coronavirus crisis. That victory was thanks in no small part to the goals of Edouard, who had netted 21 in 27 league appearances and was on track for the golden boot.
His goalscoring antics have earned reported interest from Leicester, Arsenal, Chelsea, Newcastle and Manchester United, but Celtic are desperate to keep hold of the Frenchman who has seamlessly stepped into the shoes of Moussa Dembele since making his loan from PSG permanent in 2018.
The Daily Record claimed in March that the Hoops had opened talks over extending his deal beyond its 2022 expiry date, and that has now been confirmed by manager Lennon, who spoke to reporters on Sunday (per Sky Sports) after being named the Scottish Football Writers' Manager of the Year.
"There are discussions at the minute with his representatives," Lennon said. "Ultimately he's a player we want around. He's a fantastic player. He's really blossomed over the last couple of seasons.
"He had a magnificent season this year and we want to keep him. It's as simple as that. We're doing everything we can to keep him here for at least another season anyway.
"I think he is [happy]. I think he's got a fantastic relationship certainly with me and my backroom team and his teammates.
"You can see how much the supporters appreciate him as well. I think that's reciprocated.
"He's grown into a top class striker. Of course there is going to be speculation around a player of that quality. But we're comfortable at the minute with the position we're in with him."
90min reported in January that Edouard was keen to pursue a move to the Premier League, but no English clubs were able to strike a deal in the winter window due to Celtic's reluctance to sell. That may well change in the summer, however - hence the Hoops' determination to tie him down long-term and strengthen their negotiating position.
Speaking in February, Edouard left the door open to a move in the summer, as he said: “Today I'm at Celtic, I have two years left on my contract, I'm very happy here and I enjoy myself.
“For now, there's still two years on my contract, and I am more focused on the five months that we have left for the rest of this season and the two titles we are competing for.
“And then we'll see what happens after.”
90min understand that Chelsea were considering a move for Edouard and former Hoops teammate Dembele, but both deals may now be unlikely with the news that Timo Werner is headed to Stamford Bridge.
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Source : 90min