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Ronny Deila insists James Forrest can flourish at Parkhead

By Gavin McCafferty

Celtic manager Ronny Deila has tipped James Forrest to reach his potential next season as he dismissed suggestions the winger could move to Bolton.

Deila questioned why the Scotland international would move from Parkhead to the Macron Stadium amid reports that Wanderers boss Neil Lennon wants to sign his former protege.

Forrest has struggled with a series of muscle injuries since breaking into Lennon's Celtic team as a teenager but the 23-year-old was a regular in the last four months of last season.

Deila is keen to keep his squad settled and intact - once again reiterating that Virgil van Dijk will be around for Celtic's Champions League qualifying campaign - and wants Forrest to build on his improved fitness.

Deila said: "Why would he go to Bolton? He's at Celtic. I haven't heard anything. James is a very important player and we want to keep him here.

"He's now getting to a level where we can start working to get him better.

"He has been free of injury for six months now, he's getting more and more consistency in his play and we expect more from him this season than last because of all the injuries.

"It's a big season not just for him but for everybody. I'm delighted for him because he is such a good boy, it's good working with him.

"I feel very sorry for him coming in and out for four years now. Hopefully he can continue with his consistency and everyone knows what potential he has.

"But we don't want to talk about potential, we want to talk about performances.

"We are going to work to get James up to the level he can reach."

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