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Shaun Maloney has told BBC Sport that he believes the ‘amazing’ Odsonne Edouard will stay at Celtic this season despite the likes of Aston Villa and Leeds seemingly being keen on his services.

The Sunday Mirror (09/08/20 page 66) have claimed that newly-promoted Leeds have made Edouard their number one striker target, whilst the Sun report that Aston Villa are another club keen on the free-scoring hitman.

Celtic are chasing a historic ten Scottish Premiership titles in a row – a feat never achieved in Scotland before – and if Neil Lennon’s side are to get over that line then they need Edouard leading the line.

7 Footballers With 0 Goals This Season

7 Footballers With 0 Goals This Season

Maloney, who played for both Villa and Celtic during his career, pointed out how ‘crucial’ Edouard is to Lennon and he thinks ‘he will’ keep his ‘best players’ at the club despite them being sought-after in England.

“I don’t know Odsonne, but from the outside he looks like a really good person, as well as a really good professional,” Maloney told BBC Sport.

“He’s an amazing striker and he had an amazing season last year, and with the possibility of what could be achieved being so historic this season, giving the manager and staff as big a chance as possible includes Odsonne being in the squad.

“It’s easy to say, but the biggest thing for Neil is keeping the squad together, and I think he will. Keeping his best players like Edouard and Kristoffer Ajer is crucial in helping him and staff create history that’s never been done before.”

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Celtic’s chances of creating history this season will decrease if Edouard is allowed to leave, so it may have to take something special to prize him away from Parkhead.

Leeds earned promotion to the Premier League this summer and there’s no doubt that the Yorkshire giants will want to make themselves known, so splashing big in the transfer market may just happen.

As for Villa, they put £100 million plus on the table last season, and despite surviving relegation to the Championship on the last day of the Premier League season, they still need to add quality, especially upfront.

Given that Edouard doesn’t have Premier League experience, it would be a surprise to see a team put serious cash on the table for his services because otherwise, he’ll be scoring for fun once again for the Bhoys as they chase yet another title.

In other news, ‘Up to him’: Manager won’t stop reported Tottenham and Newcastle target from leaving