Ronny Deila clarifies situation regarding James Forrest's contract

Celtic Stands

The Celtic manager admitted his frustration over the winger rejecting a new deal at Parkhead but remains optimistic that the player and club will agree terms.

Celtic manager Ronny Deila has confirmed to reporters at his press conference that he is still holding out hope that in-demand winger James Forrest will be convinced to sign a new contract at the club, as quoted on the club's official Twitter account.

The 24-year-old is being tipped for a move to an English club in the summer after turning down the Bhoys' offer to extend his stay in Glasgow, with teams such as Norwich City and Queens Park Rangers thought to be interested.

Forrest has just one year left on his current deal, and Deila admitted that although he was disheartened to see the player turn down what the Norwegian described as a "really good" offer, he remains desperate to keep the Scottish international at the club.

Deila told reporters, as quoted on the club's Twitter account: "The latest is we offered him a deal. [There was] an issue between the club and the player. We got a no from an offer which we felt was really good and we have to keep going.

"Of course, we want to keep our best players but it's not like nothing will happen now - you never know in football. I haven't talked straight with Jamesy about these things.

"[He has] been a part of our squad for many years, and we wanted to keep him. We have stretched this along in our opinion, but you never know in football. We will see what happens during the season."

Forrest has been with Celtic since the age of 13 and has become a key player for the club since scoring on his senior debut in 2010.

Named the SPL's Young Player of the Year in 2012, the 24-year-old has gone on to play 183 times for the Bhoys, scoring 30 goals.

Capped 12 times by Scotland, he has been an important member of the side that tops the SPL, playing 32 times in all competitions during the current campaign.

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