After months of speculation surrounding his future, it seemed almost inevitable that Emilio Izaguirre would bit farewell to Celtic this summer after seven years at Parkhead.
However, according to the Scottish Sun, the long-serving left-back has surprisingly signed a new one-year extension with the runaway Champions.
Izaguirre, who has won ten titles at Celtic including six straight league crowns, has struggled for regular starts since the emergence of homegrown hero Kieran Tierney (below) but his experience makes him an essential part of Brendan Rodgers’ squad. He will continue to act as back-up next season.
Consequently, this surely brings an end to speculation linking Celtic with Morton’s goalscoring sensation Thomas O’Ware. The 24-year-old, who has hit double figures from left-back in the Scottish second division this season, was reported to be on the radar of both Celtic and Rangers by the Daily Record.
And news that Izaguirre will not be bringing an end to his trophy-laden era at Celtic will surely give their Old Firm rivals a boost.
Rangers manager Pedro Caixinha has been linked with a number of highly-rated, locally sourced talents in recent weeks with the likes of Kenny McLean, Ryan Jack and Louis Moult tipped to move to Ibrox.
And, although the emergence of 18-year-old Myles Beerman (below) gives first-choice left-back Lee Wallace some much needed competition, O’Ware’s attacking instincts and impressive positional sense would make him a good addition at either end of the pitch.
The Ayrshire-born talent actually started his career in Rangers’ academy system, staying for two years before moving to Kilmarnock in 2011. Therefore, you’d imagine that he may jump at the chance to make an emotional return this summer.