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Hoops hope Forrest follows Griffiths in committing long-term

Lee Gormley | December 18, 2015

Deila keen to retain Forrest in green

Talented Celtic winger James Forrest has been urged by his boss Ronny Deila to remain at Parkhead in order to fulfil his potential, with the 24-year-old’s current contract set to expire in December 2016 and a host of Premier League clubs reportedly keeping close tabs on his situation.

The Hoops’ Norwegian coach oversaw a Scottish Premiership and League Cup victory in his maiden campaign in charge, but has followed that up with a less encouraging season so far in which they have exited European competition and only recently begun to open a strong defence of their domestic title.

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Deila is now hoping to tie-up a new deal for his promising Scotland international midfielder as soon as possible, but he has claimed such discussions have been stalled by the youngster’s agent ahead of a league encounter with Motherwell this weekend in which Forrest is 7/4 with Coral to get on the scoresheet at anytime.

“We have tried to get hold of his agent, so you can write that, when he has time, he can come in and discuss an offer,” joked Deila. “We have tried for a while, so hopefully he will come – like Santa.”

Forrest to follow Griffiths’ commitment?

The Prestwick-born wideman is one of the club’s brightest young talents, having graduated from a seven-year development spell in their academy before making his professional debut back in 2010, and Deila will hope to see him follow in the footsteps of compatriot Leigh Griffiths who recently penned a new five-year deal.

“We will contact his agent. I think he is interested in staying. He has a better profile now with playing more games and training more,” stated the Norwegian.

“We have only seen half his potential so hopefully we can get together and discuss a contract for the future. If he is going to continue developing, he needs to stay here for a longer period.”

“I’m looking forward to the next five years”

Scotland international hitman Griffiths has become a revelation at Parkhead and, having already proven himself south of the border with Wolves, his commitment could lead the way for his fellow Scottish attacker Forrest to follow suit.

“I love putting the Celtic top on every time and feeling that expectation to win every week,” said Griffiths of his new contract. “I’m looking forward to the next five years in the Hoops as we look to add to the trophies already won.”

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The 25-year-old marksman has bagged an impressive 19 goals already this season to go atop of Celtic’s scoring charts, taking his total Hoops tally to 46, a clinical record considering he only arrived in January last year.

Scottish duo key to future success

After opening an encouraging four-point lead over rivals Aberdeen at the Scottish Premiership summit, also possessing a game in hand, Deila will be relentlessly fighting to reach the Champions League once again and make a stronger impression next season. To do so he will need all of his top stars fit and fully committed, with the long-term contract renewing of top scorer Griffiths a massive boost for that target.

Griffiths is 11/4 to continue his rampant run of form by opening proceedings on home soil this weekend against the Steelmen, with his boss hoping the striker’s recent admirable show of commitment will inspire youngster Forrest to do exactly the same and resist temptations of England’s top-flight in order to continue on a path towards further silverware success.

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