Leigh Griffiths hopes for 'long' Celtic contract

International friendly: Scotland v Belgium
Venue: Hampden Park, Glasgow Date: Friday, 7 September Kick-off: 19:45 BST
Coverage: Listen on BBC Radio Scotland; live text commentary on BBC Sport website

Leigh Griffiths hopes he and Odsonne Edouard can form "a formidable partnership" as he closes in on a new deal at Celtic.

Edouard started Sunday's 1-0 win over Rangers and was replaced by Griffiths.

"I think it's something that the manager, especially at home, would like to try," said Griffiths, 28.

"The start of the season, he started with Moussa and Odsonne when I was injured and then me and Moussa started against Hamilton."

Griffiths, who has now scored 100 goals for Celtic, is contracted to the Glasgow club until 2021 and says agreeing terms on a new contract is "almost complete".

"It's still ongoing," explained Griffiths, who hit triple figures against Suduva last week. "It's almost completed now and hopefully in the next couple of weeks, it'll be done and dusted. Hopefully, it's a nice, long contract.

"Why would you want to leave a club like Celtic? You're playing week in, week out playing in front of 60,000 fans every week. You're winning trophies every season. There's not many players that can say they've played for Celtic.

"I'm in an elite number of players that have scored 100 goals and I want to extend that, I want to try and get to the 200 now so if the contract gets over the line, that'll be my next target."

Griffiths and Moussa Dembele competed for the lone striker role in manager Brendan Rodgers' first season in charge at Celtic and Frenchman Edouard joined on loan from Paris St-Germain last summer, the 20-year-old formalising a £9m move to Glasgow this year.

Dembele, 22, moved to his native France in a £19.7m move on transfer deadline day.

"It was disappointing to see him go but it's one of those things that we've got to respect his wishes that he wants to play at a higher level and he goes with everyone at the club's blessing," said Griffiths.

"Moussa's gone now so it's me and Odsonne that's firing for that one place. Hopefully, as the season progresses we can form a formidable partnership.

"The manager knows what I can do, he's been here a long time now. He's always iterated that he doesn't want to sell me, he doesn't want me to leave the club, he's always wanting me around."

Andy Robertson, Leigh Griffiths and John Souttar
Griffiths with new Scotland captain Andy Robertson and John Souttar on Monday

Following Matt Phillips and Oli McBurnie's withdrawals from the Scotland squad, Griffiths and Johnny Russell are the only recognised forwards in Alex McLeish's player pool for the matches against Belgium and Albania, though another striker will be called up.

And Griffiths is eager to show McLeish what he can do on the international stage, having previously scored four goals in 17 Scotland appearances.

"That's my main aim," said Griffiths. "[Alex McLeish] spoke to my manager and over the course of the month, I've played my fair share of minutes so I'm fit and raring to go."

Griffiths could come up against Celtic team-mate Dedryck Boyata at Hampden on Friday, the Belgian defender having helped his country finish third in this year's World Cup.

Boyata, 27, was the subject of a failed bid by Fulham in August and was linked with other clubs amid uncertainty over his Celtic future, but he has started the club's past three games and helped the side to three consecutive clean sheets in the process.

"I try and stay clear of him to be honest [in training]," joked Griffiths. "He's a great player. There's a reason why a number of clubs are wanting him.

"There's not many players up to the level of Dedryck's standard in Scotland. Internationally, it's a different level. If he does play Friday night, it'll be a good battle."

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