Craig Gordon: Chelsea tempting for goalkeeper, admits Scott Brown

Celtic goalkeeper Craig Gordon during training on Friday
Craig Gordon trained with Celtic as normal on Friday

Captain Scott Brown hopes Celtic can hold on to Craig Gordon but admits the 34-year-old goalkeeper has a huge decision to make over his future.

Gordon is the subject of interest from English Premier League leaders Chelsea.

Brown says "there's always temptation" when clubs of that stature and financial clout come calling.

"It would be great for him to stay here, but it's understandable that people come in for him because he's been playing top class," said Brown.

Celtic have made it clear they do not wish to sell and manager Brendan Rodgers says Chelsea's offer fell far short of his valuation of the Scotland goalkeeper.

"But it is up to Craig," said midfielder Brown. "Hopefully he wants to stay here.

"The gaffer wants him here, the club and all the lads want him here."

Gordon, who had a five-year spell in England's top flight with Sunderland after leaving Hearts, missed more than two seasons through injury before earning a contract with Celtic in July 2014.

He established himself as Ronny Deila's first-choice goalkeeper and saw off the challenge of Dorus de Vries at the start of this season.

Craig Gordon congratulates Scott Brown after his 400th Celtic appearance
Craig Gordon congratulated Scott Brown after his 400th Celtic appearance on Wednesday

Gordon Strachan also reinstated him as Scotland's number one for the recent World Cup qualifier against England.

"There has been a lot of doubters and, for him to come back - pretty much from the dead - to be our player of the year last year, it is frightening," added Brown.

"After all his performances this season and getting his Scotland jersey back as well, he deserves everything he has got.

"To be that long out of the game, I think it must have gone through his mind that he would never play again.

"There is always temptation, but for Craig he is enjoying his football, he has been fantastic for us."

Rodgers conceded that "every player has a valuation" but pointed out that, far from wanting to sell their goalkeeper, he is keen to "build a team around him" and wants him to sign a new deal with Celtic.

The Celtic manager also believes Gordon's enforced absence from football for more than two years will have a bearing on the player's thinking.

"Craig will be looking at Celtic as the club that brought him back in," he said. "The last thing you want to do after two years out is go and sit on the bench."

Rodgers says he initiated discussions with Gordon, who has 18 months left on his current contract, over a new deal before the interest from Chelsea came to light.

He added: "If a player's to leave Celtic, we'll get our valuation for him. We don't need to sell."

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