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Gordon set for new deal as Bhoys down Dons

Celtic 1-0 Aberdeen

By Gavin McCafferty

Brendan Rodgers thinks extending Craig Gordon's contract would be his best signing after the goalkeeper helped Celtic to a 1-0 victory over Aberdeen after Chelsea failed in a bid to sign him.

Gordon kept his seventh clean sheet in eight matches as Celtic went 25 points clear in the Ladbrokes Premiership title race thanks to Dedryck Boyata's 57th-minute header.

Celtic have a year's option on the 34-year-old when his contract expires this summer but a longer and better deal is in the offing.

"It was difficult for Craig because I don't think he is built for the stress," Rodgers said.

"He is a big guy who is calm and laid back and it probably got on his nerves.

"But I have reassured him that he is an absolutely massive part of what I'm doing here.

"You see the level of his game, his composure, his quality, everything. And I'm very hopeful that soon we will tie him down for longer here because he is a huge player in relation to how I want my team to operate. That will be our best signing once that gets done."

Chelsea also have an interest in Moussa Dembele but Rodgers could afford to joke after the striker reaffirmed his commitment to Celtic after travelling to London for a deadline-day scan on a knee injury.

Rodgers said: "We had to make sure the physio didn't lose sight of him down there.

"Ironically the hospital he was in was in Chelsea, believe it or not. So I said to Tim (Williamson), be like Franco Baresi and just stay tight to him.

"But he was happy to come back. He is loving it here. He got some fluid out of his knee, he has had a good reaction to it, so we will see how he is for the weekend."

Boyata's second goal in three games was enough to see off the Dons last night.

The Belgian defender has seized his chance after stepping in for the suspended Erik Sviatchenko against Albion Rovers and he netted his second winner in only his fifth appearance of the season.

Without a recognised striker, Celtic had toiled to break the Dons down before Boyata converted Scott Sinclair's 57th-minute free-kick, but Aberdeen offered little sign that they could stop their hosts stretching their record unbeaten start to a domestic season to 28 games.

The visitors did offer a vague threat as the game went into the final 15 minutes and Andrew Considine got a header on target, but Gordon saved comfortably and Celtic further extended their Premiership leader courtesy of Rangers' heavy defeat by Hearts.

Belfast Telegraph


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