Shaun Maloney believes it will be a “massive loss” to Celtic if Aiden McGeady leaves Parkhead.
The Republic of Ireland star was this week the subject of an £8.3m bid from Spartak Moscow.
Although Press Association Sport understands the Russian club were given short shrift by Celtic it is unlikely to end interest in the Hoops youth team product, who has previously admitted harbouring hopes of playing in England.
Maloney, speaking at Celtic Park yesterday where he was launching a summer coaching course for children, is in no doubt what the loss of McGeady would mean to the Parkhead club who are still waiting on Neil Lennon to be confirmed as their new manager as they look to wrest the Clydesdale Bank Premier League trophy back from Old Firm rivals Rangers next season.
“Aiden would be a pretty massive loss,” the Hoops midfielder said.
“Last year, in a difficult year, he was our best player so if he was to go it would be a major loss but fingers crossed that it won’t happen.”
Speculation surrounding McGeady comes at an unsettling time at the Parkhead club, who are looking for Finland coach Stuart Baxter to work as a director of football to Lennon.
The Irishman, yet to agree to the proposal, will also have former Celtic team-mates Johan Mjallby and Alan Thompson as part of his coaching staff.
But while Celtic fans await an announcement, Maloney remains single-minded.
The Scotland player was sidelined since last October with an Achilles injury and is looking simply to fight for a first-team place again – no matter who is installed in the hot seat.
“The manager tells you if you are playing or not, tells you how to play and if you don’t then you don’t play, it is as simple as that,” said Maloney.
“I’d like to think I would not have any trouble whoever the manager is going to be.
“But I know that whoever gets the job, I am obviously going to have to prove myself to him because I haven’t played football for a little while.
“I know the name (Baxter) and what he has done in different countries in Europe and things like that.
“I know he has been mentioned but I’m not entirely sure what’s happening.
“I’ve got to be honest, I’m not entirely sure what the director of football entails, I couldn’t really answer that.
“I saw it the first year I was here when I was 16 and cleaning boots and on kit duty, and I haven’t seen it since so I’m not sure what you would have to do for that job.
“But if he is part of a team – and Lenny does get the job – I’m sure Lenny will have full trust in all his backroom team.”