| 6.4°C Belfast

Lennon is ready for a fight to keep hold of Edouard

 

Close

Star performer: Odsonne Edouard is attracting interest

Star performer: Odsonne Edouard is attracting interest

Getty Images

Star performer: Odsonne Edouard is attracting interest

Celtic boss Neil Lennon conceded he is bracing himself for Odsonne Edouard enquiries after the French forward picked up his second Ladbrokes Premiership Player of the Month award this season.

The 22-year-old has been in sparkling form all campaign, with three goals last month helping him to the latest accolade - he also won the award in August - while taking his tally for the season to 24.

Edouard signed from Paris St Germain for a reported fee of £9m in 2018 after a loan spell at Parkhead and asked if he could hold on to his star striker beyond the summer, Hoops boss Lennon said: "I don't know.

"We have had no enquiries for him but I am sure somewhere down the line for a player of that calibre there will be.

"It (the award) is well deserved. He has been brilliant and so I hope that gives him another confidence boost if you want to call it that.''

Celtic are seven points ahead of Rangers at the top of the Ladbrokes Premiership with the Ibrox men having a game in hand and ahead of the visit of Hearts tonight, Ulsterman Lennon described Edouard as "up there'' with the best he has seen at Parkhead as player or manager.

The former Hoops midfielder said: "He is super-talented. He could play in the Premier League and Champions League.

"At 22 he has it all in front of him. I just hope he keeps getting better and better with us.

"He is quite laid-back in general. I wouldn't say he is difficult to get to know, he is just shy and quiet and reserved but he does his talking through his football.

"The players love him, coaches love him obviously and the fans love him so he is in a very good place.

"I think he is happy here, he is really enjoying what he is doing. He is having his best season so far here for sure.''

Edouard has sidelined thoughts about his longer-term future to try to help Celtic to further success this season.

The France Under-21 striker is contracted to the club until 2022 but has reportedly interested Borussia Dortmund, Napoli and Lyon - as well as Premier League duo Arsenal and Leicester - among others.

He said: "It is very flattering but I have two years left on my contract at Celtic and I want to focus on the club.

"There is still five months to finish this season so I am completely focused on that.

"We still have two (competitions) to hopefully win and then once that is done we can focus on something else.''

Edouard told Celtic fans that there is even more to come from him.

He said: "I am very happy, this is the second (award) of the season and I hope it will continue like that.

"I am feeling personally very well and the fact that the team is playing well reflects on me as well.

"I am a striker so it's my job to score goals, so I feel well this season. The supporters can expect more of me. The most important thing is the performance of the team and then the rest comes after.''

Brendan Rodgers was still in charge of Celtic when Edouard arrived in Britain three years ago and the ex-Hoops boss would relish the chance to reunite with one of his best ever signings at Leicester with a £40m bid apparently on the cards.

While Edouard was giving little away after winning January's SPFA Player of the Month award, he did admit that being linked to a pair of Premier League giants fills him with pride.

"It's very flattering," he said. "I still have two years left on my contract at Celtic, I want to concentrate on that."

Belfast Telegraph