Hesselink eyes new Bhoys deal

STRIKER Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink is desperate to secure a new contract with Celtic.

The Holland international has doubled his goalscoring tally for the season in the last week with strikes against Hamilton and Falkirk.

He now wants to claim his fifth successive league championship medal after winning two each with PSV Eindhoven and Celtic.

The Dutchman, whose contract expires at the end of the campaign, has admitted a return to PSV would suit him at some stage in his career. But he wants to extend his three-year stay in Glasgow before returning to Holland.

The 30-year-old said: “I would love to be a Celtic player (next season).

“Always people think, when you are from abroad, that maybe you want to return to your home country. But that’s not on my mind right now.

“The main focus is winning games, then the second thing is winning the championship and after that we will see what happens with my career.

“If you play for champions every year, and play in the Champions League, and play in front of 60,000 people, I don’t think you want to change that.”

The striker is now focused on helping the champions extend their lead in the SPL to six points with victory at Hearts, at least until

Rangers play Motherwell later in the day.

Only Celtic and Kilmarnock have beaten third-placed Hearts on their own ground during the SPL season.

Meanwhile Celtic manager Gordon Strachan admits Paul Hartley’s return to fitness is a huge boost for his injury-hit side ahead of the title run-in.

The midfielder missed Celtic’s victories over Hamilton and Falkirk, and Scotland’s World Cup double header against Holland and Iceland, with a hamstring strain. But he has declared himself fit to face his former club at Tynecastle today.

The 32-year-old’s return is timely as Scott Brown’s participation is doubtful after the central midfielder picked up a knock during Wednesday’s 4-0 win over Falkirk.

Brown will definitely miss the first two games following the Clydesdale Bank Premier League split, after his booking against the Bairns sparked a suspension.


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