Report: Nir Bitton to stay with Celtic, Brendan Rodgers sees starting role for him

Celtic's Nir Bitton (R) celebrates scoring their first goal

Nir Bitton has been linked with a move away from Celtic to Espanyol.

Celtic's Nir Bitton (R) celebrates scoring their first goal

According to a report in the Glasgow Evening Times, Nir Bitton is set to stay with Celtic this summer.

Bitton has been linked with a move to Espanyol in recent times, but the Spanish side were not willing to meet the Bhoys’ asking price for the midfielder.

Celtic wanted £10 million if they were to consider letting Bitton leave Parkhead, and Espanyol felt that the 24-year-old was overpriced.

Celtic's Nir Biton with Rangers' Danny Wilson at the end of the match

As a result, Bitton is now set to stay with the Scottish champions - and new boss Brendan Rodgers is said to have been impressed by his performances over pre-season.

Bitton has been part of the Celtic squad which has toured Slovenia, and he has caught the Northern Irish manager’s eye.

Bitton has helped Celtic go unbeaten over pre-season so far, and he is reportedly Rodgers’ first choice to start in the defensive midfield position next term.

New Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers is presented to the fans after the press conference

It is said that Arsenal still have an interest in Bitton, but Celtic are now determined to keep hold of the technically adept midfielder, as Rodgers builds for the new campaign.

Celtic play their first competitive match of the season tomorrow, against Lincoln Red Imps of Gibraltar in Champions League qualification.

Celtic's Nir Bitton (R) in action with Ross County's Jackson Irvine (L)

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