Brendan Rodgers opens the door for James Forrest to stay at Celtic; and discloses what winger told him about his future

Celtic's James Forrest

The 25-year-old helped the Hoops get their Scottish Premiership campaign off to a good start.

Celtic's James ForrestCeltic's James Forrest

Brendan Rodgers has explained to the Evening Times that James Forrest told him during pre-season that he wanted to stay at Celtic, and the boss insisted that there is still a chance that that could happen.

According to the Evening Times, the winger - whose current deal at Parkhead runs out in January - rejected a new contract at the start of the year, leaving Ronny Deila to suggest that it was inevitable that he would be on his way as talks would not be restarted.

Celtic manager Brendan RodgersCeltic manager Brendan Rodgers

However, Rodgers has now hinted that there could be a good chance of an agreement being reached, especially as Forrest himself appears to be keen to stay put.

"He wants to stay, he pulled me in Slovenia and said he was enjoying the work and he feels an important part of the squad would like to stay. So it’s between the agent and the club now to arrange that," he told the Evening Times.

Heart of Midlothian's Miguel Pallardo (R) in action with Celtic's James Forrest

While news of Forrest's decision to reject a new deal in January did not seem to bother supporters too much - though the 25-year-old was exceptional when he burst onto the scene, he had failed to take his game to the next level, leading many to question whether he would ever realise his potential - his recent form suggests that something has changed under Rodgers.

The Scotland international got on the scoresheet against Hearts in their season opener, and generally looked capable of doing something special.

And it appears that club captain Scott Brown would certainly be happy to see him now commit his future to the Bhoys after his recent performances. 

"I think everyone sees his qualities," he said. "He can go down the line, he can come inside, and he can even score now!"

Celtic's James Forrest (R) celebrates scoring their third goal against Aberdeen with Mikael Lustig (L)

Although the talent has arguably always been there, the fact that Forrest appears to now be winning people over is a very encouraging sign for Rodgers' tenure.

Many - if not most - suggested when he arrived that the Northern Irishman needed to clear out his squad as Deila had left him plenty of players who were not good enough.

And while the squad is too big still, the fact that Rodgers has hinted that he can get the best out of one of the men that struggled under his predecessor suggests that there may be some hope for the other members of the squad who have been written off.  

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