Craig Gordon is in no mood to hang up his gloves and is ready to quit Celtic to extend his career.
Apart from one badly placed pass to Scott Robertson early in the second half that was atoned for by a save the 36-year-old put in a solid display last night in the 2-0 defeat from Cluj.
It was only Gordon’s sixth appearance of 2019 with Scott Bain taking his place at the turn of the year before Fraser Forster rejoined the club on loan in August as the new number one.
In January 2017 Chelsea were keen to sign Gordon as their back-up keeper but after losing three years of his career to injury he stayed at Celtic with a new contract signed.
A return to Hearts, his first club, would seem the most obvious move but with a contract that runs until June Celtic will decide whether or not to let the keeper move on next month.
Looking at his future Gordon told The Sun:
I want to play games and not playing is going to hurt a bit. I’m getting towards the latter stages of my career so every chance I get is a chance to take.
You never know what’s going to happen as it’s the last year of my contract so January is going to be a big month. I’ve not had any talks with anyone at Celtic. I’m not had any offers or any talks whatsoever.
There are a few people in similar situations as it’s been a busy time regarding contracts at the club with players getting fixed up but I don’t think at any stage of my career I’ve ever been happy sitting on the bench.
I want to play as many games as I can. It’s unfortunate this season for one reason or another it’s not happened. I don’t know Celtic’s position but I want to play games. If that’s not here then I have to look at my options and see what comes in January.
Would it be sad to leave this way? It’s exactly that. You want to have that in your power and control, to say when that time comes. Sometimes that’s not the case. At the moment I’m really unsure so we’ll have to see how it plays out.
I’ve not really spoken to the manager about it. The team hasn’t changed much – it’s been the same boys going out week in-week out.
They’ve been fantastic and have hardly put a foot wrong all season. There’s not much I can do about that but for my personal situation we have Scotland matches coming in March. We have an opportunity to get to a major finals and I’d love to be a part of that.
I’d love to get back playing and give the Scotland manager something to think about, to try to get back into the squad. I want to try to help the country achieve something we haven’t done for quite some time but it’s very early days. I don’t know what’s available or who’s looking for goalies.
Scott Bain’s fitness looks like being critical to Gordon’s situation with Conor Hazard on the bench in Romania last night.
If Bain resumes full fitness Gordon could leave in January but it’s unlikely that he’ll get close to his current wages at Celtic which were negotiated while there was genuine interest in him from Chelsea.