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Forrest upbeat on Celtic future as talks on new deal progress

 

By Ronnie Esplin

James Forrest says he now wants to focus on playing as he gets set to sign a new contract extension at Scottish champions Celtic.

The Scotland international’s current deal expires in 2022, but he is in advanced talks to further extend his stay.

Forrest has gone from strength to strength along with the team in recent seasons and, after nine consecutive domestic trophies, he feels they will only get better with the improved challenge from Rangers.

Manager Neil Lennon had earmarked a new deal for Forrest at the start of the season, and the winger said: “It’s near enough done, everything is basically agreed. I’ll be delighted to get that done really soon and just keep focusing on playing.

“I’ve always stated from the start of pre-season that I want to stay at Celtic. The talks have been really positive and it’s maybe near the end.”

Lennon handed Forrest his debut in May 2010 and made a new contract for the wide player one of his priorities after finalising his return to the club on a long-term basis.

“It gives me confidence when I’m playing,” Forrest said. “It’s a great team to be involved in just now and I just want to keep working hard to stay there.”

The 28-year-old took his tally for the season to nine goals with a strike in Celtic’s 4-0 win over Aberdeen on Sunday.

Celtic regained top spot from Rangers the previous weekend by thrashing Ross County, but they are only ahead on goal difference.

“It’s really close just now and both teams are doing well in Europe,” Forrest added.

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