Celtic's Nir Bitton responds to speculation linking him with Parkhead exit

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

The Israeli midfielder has been linked with leaving the Scottish Premiership side this summer.

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

Nir Bitton has rubbished suggestions that he could be leaving Celtic this summer by insisting that he hopes to stay with the Hoops for several years to come, The Scottish Sun reports.

The 24-year-old has been linked with £6m switches to both Espanyol and Arsenal in recent times, The Scottish Sun claims, but he is adamant that he has no plans to leave Parkhead and hinted that a move away would see his career take a sideways step, at best.

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

"I don't think of talk of other clubs. I'm really happy here. Celtic are a big club, and it's a big honour for me to be part of this club. As long as I'm here I will try to do my best and hopefully I will stay for many years," he told The Scottish Sun.

"I don't think about these kind of things. It's good for newspapers, but I don't think about it.

"I play for one of the biggest clubs in Europe, so I don't think about anything else. As long as you are part of Celtic you don't think about other clubs."

Celtic manager Brendan RodgersCeltic manager Brendan Rodgers

The news that Bitton has not even considered leaving the club will surely be music to Brendan Rodgers' ears. Though the Northern Irishman has previously spoken of his desire to reduce the number of players within his squad (via Daily Record), Bitton is arguably one of the men that has the ability to be a key player for the Bhoys this term.

Though the holding midfielder's contribution can sometimes go under the radar, he put in an excellent display when brought on during the first-leg of their Champions League third qualifying round tie with Astana and showed last season that he could well be the long-term replacement for Scott Brown.

Ross County's Ian McShane (R) in action with Celtic's Nir Bitton

And it is not just when protecting the defence that the Israel international excels. He proved against Kilmarnock last term and Dundee the year before that he is a wonderful striker of the ball from distance.

And Rodgers will surely be delighted to have a player who can hit the ball like he does arriving late into the final third to support the attackers as he looks to build a team capable of asking as many questions of the opposition as possible. 

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