Celtic right-back Mikael Lustig has hinted he may not sign a new contract with the Hoops.
There had been reports that the Scottish champions had offered a new two-year deal to the 32-year-old, but speaking whilst on international duty, the Swedish defender said he was disappointed with how the club have handled his future:
“The last few weeks have been tough. Not on the field, but off the pitch. I am proud of how I have handled the situation and those closest to me, the players and the leaders at Celtic know what has happened.”
“It could have been handled differently, in terms of what has been said and what happened. You should never say never. I love Celtic and never thought I would feel such a connection to a club.”
“I would never close that door. For me, that club is the fans and the job the players do for them. I have nothing but good things to say about Celtic.”
Lustig’s current contract expires at the end of this month, and it could be the case that the fullback has played his final game for Celtic after a seven and a half year stay at Parkhead.
Supporters on Twitter paid tribute to the veteran:
Great player fantastic contribution to our recent success
Will be difficult to find a quality replacement.
— Desmond Duffy (@DesmondDuffy4) June 11, 2019
— paul cryans 45% (@PaulCryans) June 11, 2019
Absolute gem another fine swedish player past through parkhead gates wish you all the best dont forget your always welcome to come sit with us in the crowd 🍀🍀
— Mark Laverty (@markcfc88) June 11, 2019
Our best right back since Danny McGrain.
— Gary H (@Garyham67) June 11, 2019
Good luck to him..He was a great servant to Celtic
— jack (@penecelt) June 11, 2019
If he's off then he goes with my sincerest best wishes, a marvellous servant to the club who got what it meant to play for Celtic
— williams deadly oar (@OarDeadly) June 11, 2019
Deserved to be kept on his existing deal for 10iar. Looks like board are wanting to cut his deal.
— GM28 (@67HolyGrd) June 11, 2019
Looks like goodbye from Lustig, What a signing, What a player hes been an absolute hero on & off the park. Times caught up with him but could have done is a turn hope we dont regret not keeping him winners are hard to replace, One of the main men in that dressing room.
— The Mire CSC (@TheMireCSC2002) June 11, 2019
Another bizarre decision that makes no sense huge presence in the dressing room gone🤷♀️ hopefully they give him a pillow and an inflatable hot tub as a thank you gesture.
— roy (@Airthreycastle3) June 11, 2019
Definitely the right time for Lustig to go. If he stayed any longer, we'd essentially still be flogging a dead horse and everyone would be complaining about how finished he is.
Farewell, Mika. You'll be leaving Celtic with your head held high and as a treble treble winner 🍀🇸🇪 pic.twitter.com/06vTMVtXxs
— SM (@SM1967_) June 11, 2019
Many fans believe that Lustig’s time with the club is up, but it does look like things could have been handled better if his departure is confirmed.
The Swedish international will not be able to say farewell to Hoops supporters like many other long-time servants of the club, and that doesn’t sit well with many in the fanbase.