Official! Ace confirms deal progresses


Jozo Simunovic, who has been consistently linked with a move to Lille, is adamant he is not leaving Celtic.

The Croatian centre-back was a key part of last night 3-0 defeat of Alashkert in Armenia as the Hoops got their Champions League qualifiers underway.

Simunovic, 23, now hopes to be a regular feature for the Bhoys after last season’s frustrating campaign when he spent a large part of the season on the sideline.

His situation alerted other clubs who seek to test his resolve, but the former Dinamo Zagreb defender insisted he has no plan to move.

He said: “Yes, definitely. I want to stay and play in the Champions League again.

“I’m still a Celtic player and I’m happy here. I’m just looking forward and I don’t worry about interest from other clubs. I’m here and I’m happy playing games. That’s the most important things.

“It’s not just about me. A lot of clubs are keen on other boys, but you can be sure that we are giving everything here and aren’t thinking about any offers.

“Celtic play European football every year. Every player in the world wants to play in the Champions League. It’s the best competition there is.

“For sure this is the fittest I’ve felt for some time. I had some time off and some sunshine.

“Definitely I feel much better than last season. Injuries are part of football, especially if you are playing in every game. You need some time to adapt yourself to play the number of games Celtic play.

“I’m here and going day by day. I feel better than last year and that’s the most important thing.”

Simunovic added: “Of course, there is a lot of competition for places, but I’m here and I’m not scared of anybody. I believe in myself.

“The gaffer needs to pick the best players to play. I have nothing against that.

“I’m fine with how we play. We started with three at the back and we changed to four later in the game, but me personally, I don’t have any problem with that.

“The other boys have also shown they can deal that, so we looked good in both situations.

“The competition is something I welcome. You need that. Players pushing you more and more and I’m looking forward to the season.”