Celtic boss Neil Lennon: Thomas Rogne is going nowhere

THOMAS ROGNE was today given New Year cheer when Neil Lennon revealed the Norwegian defender does have a Celtic future.

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Thomas Rogne's Celtic contract expires in the summer
Thomas Rogne's Celtic contract expires in the summer

That's good news for the 22-year-old who has struggled to claim a regular spot this season, and is about to see Israeli central defender, Rami Gershon, move to the club from Standard Liege.

Rogne – who joined the club from Stabaek in January 2010 – is out of contract in the summer, though, as is the practice with most players at Parkhead, Celtic hold a year's option.

That means that, while Rogne – a reported target for AIK Stockholm – is precluded from speaking to other interested parties or signing a pre-contract agreement for at least another 12 months, Celtic could cut him loose in the summer.

Negotiations over a new deal were started several months ago, but no agreement has yet been reached "I think his contract is up in the summer, and we are trying to track down his agent.

"But we have not heard a thing from him in the last three or four weeks.

"We would like to get this tied down because Thomas has done well for me.

"Bar injuries, he would probably have played a lot more games."

It is all combining to make it an uncertain time for Rogne, whose history of injuries has been a major stumbling block in him securing an extended run of games in Lennon's side.

But the Hoops boss wants him to stay and considers him part of his plans for the future.

Rogne made only his seventh start of the season in the defeat to Hibs at the weekend.

Rogne was a surprise inclusion in the line-up, starting between Efe Ambrose and Kelvin Wilson in a back three.

He looked rusty as Leigh Griffiths raced onto a ball over his head to nip round the advancing Fraser Forster and score from an acute angle. The boss quickly reverted to a back four, and must now decide which formation he deploys against Motherwell today.

The Hoops boss hopes that Charlie Mulgrew and Adam Matthews will be available again for this game after their recent absence through injury.

But James Forrest, Kris Commons, Joe Ledley and Anthony Stokes are still battling to regain fitness

And the manager admits the continued absence of wide men Forrest and Commons is giving him a headache.

Lennon said: "The problem is the right- hand side of our team.

"Scott Brown struggles to play there with his hip condition. But we had to throw him out there against Hibs because it gives us better balance."

One solution being considered is to start Dylan McGeouch– who came on as a sub at Easter Road – in the wide right position.

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