Nir Bitton’s agent has left The Daily Record looking ridiculous by flatly contradicting a story the paper ran which appeared to suggest he was touting the player for a summer move.
Yesterday’s Record has the agent apparently saying “three or four club”, all with heavy financial muscle, had already submitted bids.
To all intents and purposes, The Record was spinning it that the player would be for the off in the window, in spite of having just signed a bumper new deal.
Today his agent has “clarified” The Record’s report in a statement he issued to The Daily Mail. Clearly sick of being misquoted, he was determined to get this matter out there in a way which absolutely could not be spun or reinterpreted.
““He is under contract until 2020,” he said. “And you can definitely quote me on this – he will clearly stay at Celtic next year.”
Celtic has never stood in the way of a player who wants to leave Celtic Park to further his career, but Bitton has never shown the slightest sign of being one of those footballers. Indeed, he speaks often about his gratitude to the club and his belief that their faith in him should be rewarded with loyalty.
Although he’s a player who does have ambitions to play in England at some point, he is, himself, unequivocal about where that ambition lies.
He considers Celtic too big a club to leave for a club like Southampton.
There are only a couple of clubs down south who he believes have the “wow” factor of playing at Parkhead.
Bitton wants to play Champions League football with Celtic.
The Record knows how good this guy is – we all do – and this was a typical effort to destabilise the dressing room on the eve of an important match.
It’s transparent, and pathetic.
What makes this is unusual is that we have a players agent actually going to the media to tell them his client is staying somewhere, and the manner in which he’s done it makes it pretty plain that he’s particularly cheesed off with a certain newspaper.
He doesn’t trust them to tell the truth, so he actually went to a rival with an exclusive and made sure that there was not going to be any misunderstanding or misrepresenting.
And that is a statement in itself.