Celtic to offer Samaras new deal

Celtic boss Neil Lennon is set to offer Georgios Samaras a new contract.

Celtic boss Neil Lennon is set to offer Georgios Samaras a new contract.

The Greece striker has blown hot and cold since signing from Manchester City in 2008 in a reported £1.5m deal and it was thought that he might be on his way at the end of the season with Spanish club Hercules and Italian side Palermo both keen to buy him.

However, Lennon has been impressed by Samaras’s attitude since he returned from the World Cup.

And although he was dropped to the bench for the 3-0 home win over Hearts in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League on Saturday to allow new signings Anthony Stokes and Daryl Murphy to start together in attack, his second-half substitute appearance confirmed to Lennon he is deserving of an extension to his current deal which is in its final year.

“Sami came to see us and said he didn’t want to go anywhere, that he wanted to stay,” Lennon told the Evening Times.

“He has played well since he came back after the summer, to the extent we are probably going to talk about a new contract soon because we feel he has a lot to offer.”

Samaras might have helped himself to a couple of goals against the Jambos but Lennon was relaxed about the missed chances.

“He was not under pressure to score,” the Irishman said.

“We know what he can do.

“He’d been away for two weeks playing with Greece, and, with Murphy being fresh and having done well at Motherwell in our last game before the break, we just felt we would start with him again.

“Sami is a very good sub to bring on. After the game, I had a word with him and told him just to keep going because the goals will come for him.”

Lennon is still waiting to hear if former Bolton and Watford defender Danny Shittu will come to Glasgow this week to prove his match fitness and discuss a contract.

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