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Brendan Rodgers hungry to keep Lustig at Celtic

By Paul Burrows

Brendan Rodgers is hopeful of securing a new deal with defender Mikael Lustig.

The 29-year-old's contract with Celtic is due to expire at the end of the season, but chief executive Peter Lawwell is now in discussions with Lustig's agent about extending his stay.

"Mikael's one I definitely want to keep and the club are in discussions with his representatives," said Rodgers.

"He's an important player for us, one of the pillars of the group.

"He's a great character, motivated to train and a great professional. Mikael's a fun guy but he knows when to focus. He's a Scott Brown type in the dressing-room.

"He's been excellent since I came in and I think he wants to stay."

The Swedish international, who joined Celtic on a free transfer from Rosenborg in 2011, has won four Premiership titles, two League Cups and a Scottish Cup during his time at Parkhead and Rodgers acknowledges he is entitled to seek the best possible deal for himself as his career begins to wind down.

"He's 29 and it's probably going to be the last major contract," added the Hoops boss. "When you get to that age you want to make sure everything is right.

"If he plays until he's 35, he's got another six years. That's 72 pay packets left in him.

"That's it, then he's done. That has to last him for the rest of his life. So he wants to get as much in there as he can. That's the game.

"But he wants to be here and Mikael knows I want him here. It's a relaxed situation, there's no drama."

Striker Leigh Griffiths, meanwhile, was delighted to get his name on the scoresheet in Friday night's 4-1 victory over Partick Thistle and hopes it will be enough to earn him a start in tomorrow's clash with Hamilton Academical.

"I've been itching to play for a couple of weeks now and I've done myself no harm," he said.

"I'm pleased with my 10 goals. It would have been more if I hadn't been injured, I've no doubts about that.

"Now it's all about getting a run of games and, if I do that, I'm confident I will score.

"I was in this time but we will wait and see what the manager does against Hamilton on Tuesday.

"If I'm back on the bench, then I'll have to wait my turn and give him a selection headache."

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