Celtic manager Ronny Deila has told The Scotsman that left back Emilio Izaguirre does still have a future with the club despit recent speculation.
The Sun reported earlier this week that Deila was desperate to bring in a new left back to challenge Izaguirre, with St. Pauli's Marcel Halstenberg a prime target.
The uncertainty surrounding Izaguirre's future at Celtic Park only intensified on Wednesday, when Deila selected Charlie Mulgrew at left back instead of the Honduran international.
The 29-year-old has been a virtual ever present since arriving from Motagua in 2010, but now his position is under threat from either Mulgrew or a potential new signing.
However, Deila has moved to play down the rumours over Izaguirre, telling The Scotsman that the defender does still have a future at Celtic Park, but chose Mulgrew due to his better communication skills of late.
"Emilio will be back," said Deila. "He’s a good player who has featured in about 95 per cent of the games since I have been here. We chose Charlie in Iceland and we’ll see what we do in the next game. Charlie is a good player with a lot of experience and he can fill different roles."
"Defensively, he talks and communicates better than Emilio has done recently, so it was better. We are also dangerous at set-plays and Charlie has great delivery. I don’t think Emilio has been anything different from last year. We talk a lot and he knows the things he has to work on to improve. He’s in our plans for the future," he added.
Izaguirre's performances of late and towards the back end of last season have left a lot to be desired, with poor quality in to the box and questionable position defensively.
At 29, Celtic will be looking to bring in a younger left back to try and push Izaguirre, and given those recent displays, that may not be the worst thing for the experienced Honduran right now.
For too long, Izaguirre has been the undoubted first choice left back for Celtic - and Deila will be aware that competition for places is key, hence why signing a left back is so important for the Bhoys this summer.