Celtic boss confident over new Scott Brown contract

By John BarnesBBC Scotland
Celtic midfielder Scott Brown
Scott Brown will be free to talk to other clubs in January

Celtic manager Neil Lennon believes captain Scott Brown is close to agreeing a new deal with the club.

Brown, who joined Celtic from Hibs in 2007, is out of contract in the summer.

The midfielder has agreed personal terms but talks have stalled over the fee demanded by the player's advisors.

Celtic paid £4.4m to take Brown from their Scottish Premier League rivals, a fee that remains a record between two Scottish clubs.

The Scotland international has resumed training after a spell on the sidelines with an ankle injury and has an outside chance of facing Atletico Madrid in the Europa League on Wednesday.

"I think we are pretty close to getting the deal done," said Lennon.

"It's just a question of talking to his representatives as soon as possible and coming to a resolution.

"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.

"We all know he can talk to clubs on Thursday but I had a chat with him today, he wants to stay here and I'm confident we can get it done over the next few days."

Meanwhile, Lennon has refused to be drawn on speculation linking Celtic with a move for Huddersfield Town striker Jordan Rhodes.

Lennon, who was in the stand to watch Huddersfield's defeat by Charlton on Monday, said he would not discuss players under contract at other clubs.

"We are not even in December yet and I'm being asked questions about players coming in or going out," he added.

"I'm preparing a team for a big European game and I'm not prepared to talk about much else really.

"We have our eye on a couple of targets but there are no guarantees of getting deals done."