Celtic manager Ronny Deila has quashed reports suggesting that Nir Bitton could be about to leave the club at his press conference today.
The Daily Record had said that Sunderland were about to make a £5 million bid for the Israeli international, but Deila insists that he is not for sale.
The Norwegian boss says that he wants to build his team around Bitton next season and hopes the lure of Champions League football will convince him to stay in Glasgow.
RD: Nir Bitton is part of that, he'll stay here and try and help us qualify for the @ChampionsLeague— Celtic Football Club (@celticfc) May 22, 2015
Celtic are determined to make it into Europe's premier club competition next term, after missing out this season, and doing so should aid them in their quest to keep their most sought-after players at the club.
Bitton has matured into a vital player for Celtic, so Deila's insistence that he will stay will be a big boost for the Parkhead faithful.
Bitton has wonderful technical ability, but he also has the battling qualities required to act as a good shield for Celtic's defence.
It means that he performs a key function for the team and finding an adequate replacement for him would have been a tough task.