With various leagues across Europe being suspended, there are a lot of unanswered questions going around in the football world currently. Most of it is regarding how the season can be completed or who will win the title or get promoted/relegated. However, one underrated problem is if the league gets extended, what would happen to players who are running out of a contract.
Deals of players generally run out on May 31 or June 30. Celtic have some pretty crucial first-team players who could be out of contract as they are only on loan. Mohamed Elyounoussi, who is on loan from Southampton, has managed to impress so far. His deal is expiring at the end of May. Fraser Forster is with Celtic until the end of June.
Lennon confident of retaining players
Lennon though insisted that the club will be prepared for all situations and he will have a talk with key decision-makers including some at Southampton. The Celtic boss said (Glasgow Live),” These are things we have never experienced before. It’s not exclusive to us. A lot of clubs are in the same position. I think we are covered for any eventuality if the league is postponed or truncated or elongated into the summer. That’s hypothetical, so I don’t know, but we will be ready.”
“I would need to speak to Peter Lawwell or Michael Nicholson on that subject. It’s another thing I will now have to think about. There may well be a conversation with Southampton on that.”
Why Celtic need both of them?
Celtic already allowed two wingers to leave in January as Scott Sinclair and Lewis Morgan parted ways with the club. Michael Johnston is out with a long term injury, and he might not play much this season. Hence, Elyounoussi will undoubtedly have to play a role if the season is extended.
Forster has been immense for the Hoops, and he has often been the difference-maker in goal. Celtic are in a much better situation with him as his contract runs until June. Nevertheless, Lennon has to ensure that the club would be prepared for any scenario.
What could be a possible solution?
Maybe we could end up seeing a one or two-month contract extension which would be unprecedented in the footballing world. But such is the scenario that a lot of things will have to happen for the first time. If Southampton gets on board, then that would certainly be a workable solution.
Forster and Elyounoussi have been linked with permanent moves to Parkhead before so it remains to be seen what kind of conclusion Celtic and Southampton reach regarding their extension. Lennon though seemed confident that they would be able to work out some way to keep hold of their crucial players if they need them for the extended season.