Izaguirre: I rejected Celtic contract offer

Celtic's Honduran defender Emilio Izaguirre (L) vies with Lyon's midfielder Romain Del Castillo during the pre-season friendly football match between Glasgow Celtic and Olympique Lyonnais...

Emilio Izaguirre left Celtic in the summer after his contract with the Hoops expired.

Honduras' Emilio Izaguirre drives the ball during a training in San Pedro Sula, 180 km north of Tegucigalpa, on October 9, 2017.

Former Celtic defender Emilio Izaguirre has told AFC.com that he rejected a contract from the Hoops before leaving the club in the summer.

Izaguirre, 31, joined Saudi Arabian side Al-Feiha after his game time dramatically reduced due to the emergence of Celtic wonderkid Kieran Tierney at left-back.

The tenacious defender is set to go up against Australia for a place in the World Cup finals next summer, as he and his Honduras teammates look to beat the Socceroos over two legs. The first leg kicks off on Friday, before the return leg is set to follow five days later.

Sebastian LLetget #9 of the United States battles Emilio Izaguirre #7 of Honduras for a loose ball during their FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifier at Avaya Stadium on March 24, 2017 in San Jose,...

Speaking ahead of the World Cup qualifier, Izaguirre claimed that Celtic offered him a new deal to remain at Parkhead but he decided to reject the offer as he wants regular first-team football, but did remind Hoops fans that they remain in his heart.

"I spent seven seasons at Celtic, winning 11 trophies, playing almost 50 UEFA Champions League games, nearly 300 matches overall, I carry them in my heart," Izaguirre said.

"In the last six months I did not play much, but they did not want me to leave. I was offered a new contract, but I needed to play constantly to be able to play for my national team.

"I accepted the offer [from Al-Feiha] and I am enjoying here. The most important thing is that I am playing every game and enjoying it."

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers looks on during the UEFA Champions League group B match between Celtic FC and Bayern Muenchen at Celtic Park on October 31, 2017 in Glasgow, United Kingdom.

Izaguirre has clocked up a huge 93 caps for his national team, and is likely to feature in both legs as his country look to book their place on the plane to Russia next summer.

The pocket-sized defender will go up against former Celtic teammate Tom Rogic during the two ties, who will be relied upon to provide the creativity in Ante Postecoglou's side.

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch