Eli Guttman has told the Evening Times that Nir Bitton should remain with Celtic for the foreseeable future, given that he is still developing and has shown a major progression since arriving at Parkhead two years ago.
Guttman, who managed Bitton at international level, said: “He has improved a lot during his time in Celtic. They have helped him become a better player. Nir has his whole career ahead of him. He has the ability to move on in time. But he should make developing his career, not going after more money, his priority and I think that he will.”
Despite signing a new contract earlier this season, Bitton’s future has come under threat in recent weeks, with the midfielder earning report Premier League interest.
The Daily Express reported quotes from Bitton’s agent, claiming that he will move to England next summer, having already fielded approaches for the midfielder this season. His agent believes that the Israeli international, 24, should be sold for no less than £10 million.
Sunderland have been linked with Bitton, by the Evening Times, having been scouting him since last season, and retaining that interest this term despite the arrival of Sam Allardyce as manager.
However, Guttman believes that Bitton will not want to move on simply for money, and the international boss thinks that the midfielder has enough sense to be aware that he has the best chance of developing into a top class player if he remains at Parkhead.
He is playing in the best team in Scotland, with the best players in the division, and is guaranteed a key first-team role in Ronny Deila’s plans. He would not be in the same situation at Sunderland, and would spend the entire campaign fighting in a relegation battle, which would hardly be beneficial for his development.
Bitton has proven himself as a talented player since arriving at Parkhead from FC Ashdod, and keeping ahold of the midfielder will be imperative if Deila wants to finally rebuild a side who can compete in the Champions League again.