John Guidetti delays contract talks with Celtic

John Guidetti and Leigh Griffiths
John Guidetti (left) has lost his place in the starting line-up to Leigh Griffiths

Negotiations to keep John Guidetti at Celtic are on hold until March or April, manager Ronny Deila revealed.

The 22-year-old striker is on loan from Manchester City until the end of the season when he will be out of contract.

The Swedish international scored 11 goals in his first 12 appearances for Celtic but has not found the net since late November.

"We've been speaking for a long time but he's decided he wants to wait to see what his options are," said Deila.

"It will be March or April, maybe longer, so there won't be any final decision this month. But we know we have him until the end of the season."

A five-game run without a goal saw Guidetti dropped to the bench for the 2-0 win at Kilmarnock on 5 January and he has been an unused substitute in the last two matches.

Leigh Griffiths has been selected as the central striker in the last two outings - his first Premiership starts since August - and scored in Wednesday's 4-0 victory over Motherwell, which sent Celtic top of the league.

Deila praised the contribution of 24-year-old former Hibernian and Wolves forward, who has yet to establish himself as a first-team regular after a year at the club.

"There is big competition up front but Leigh has made improvement in a lot of things," he explained.

"He looks sharper now and he needs even more confidence, so the goal yesterday was very important.

"I believe in him. He's an exciting player and his left foot is world class. I haven't seen a player with a better left foot in my life.

Leigh Griffiths scored his fifth goal of the season against Motherwell
Leigh Griffiths scored his fifth goal of the season against Motherwell on Wednesday

"He has skills but again you have to perform over time when you play at Celtic.

"We made some demands of him and he has really, really worked hard to tune into that. He still needs to improve, everybody does, but he is getting to a new level.

"You saw yesterday how much he works for the team, how sharp he is, and he scored a very nice goal as well. So he is going in the right direction.

"He has played the last two games and we have won the games and he has played well, so is in a better position than three or four weeks ago."

Deila said that Celtic have no bids in for any player but admits he would like to add to his squad this month.

"In January it's hard but to keep the players is most important now that we have consistency through the season," he said.

"We're getting a better level in the team so it's important to keep it. That's more important than getting players in but if we can add some in as well then it will be perfect."

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