Sport Soccer

Wednesday 18 January 2017

Lennon sure Brown will sign

Published 30/11/2011 | 05:00

Neil Lennon remains confident captain Scott Brown will commit his future to Celtic even though he can hold talks with other clubs this week.

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The midfielder is about to enter the final six months of his current contract and has yet to put pen to paper on a new deal.

However, Lennon has no fears about his skipper looking elsewhere and believes Brown's Celtic future will be secured in the coming days.

"I think we are pretty close to getting the deal done. It's just a question of talking to his representatives as soon as possible and coming to a resolution," he said.

"I think he wants to stay and I don't think we are far away. It's dragged its heels a bit but I'm quite confident we can get it done. There are all sorts of reasons why it's not been done yet but it's certainly not been for the lack of trying."

Brown has been out of action since mid-September with an ankle injury but has returned to training and could be in contention for tonight's Europa League game against Atletico Madrid at Parkhead.

Lennon added: "He has trained today and we will talk things over with him and the medical team this evening and see if he can be in contention. It would be nice to have him in the squad but, if it's too early for him, then he will definitely be involved at the weekend."

While confident of securing Brown on a new deal, Lennon refused to be drawn on potential targets ahead of the January transfer window.

Celtic have been linked with Maritimo's Baba Diawara, as well as Scotland striker Jordan Rhodes after Lennon took in Huddersfield's game against Charlton.

Lennon said: "We are not even in December yet and I'm being asked questions about players coming in or going out."

Asked if this clash with Atletico Madrid is a must-win match, he said: "A draw might give us a slight chance of qualifying, but a win would make our chances a lot better.

"It's a game that we are really looking forward to. They are a class side and they played very well against us in the corresponding fixture in Madrid."

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