Highly-rated Celtic defensive star pens new four-year contract

Stephen Welsh TEAMtalk

Stephen Welsh has signed a new four-year contract that will see him remain at Celtic until at least the summer of 2025.

The 21-year-old centre-back is a product of the Parkhead club’s academy, having been at Celtic for well over a decade.

Welsh made his first-team debut last season in a 4-1 away Premiership win at Hamilton but has established himself as a regular in recent months and has made 16 appearances so far this season.

“I’m delighted to get it done and I’m here for another four years which is the perfect scenario for me,” he told Celtic TV.

“I’ve been getting a consistent run of regular games since the Christmas period there.

“For me, it’s just about keeping that up, keep doing it, keep playing well until the end of the season.”

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Milan interested in Celtic swap deal

AC Milan will reportedly offer Celtic the chance to sign current loan star Diego Laxalt as part of a deal to take Odsonne Edouard to Italy.

Laxalt is on a season-long loan at Celtic Park from Milan. The left-back has made 13 starts among 17 Scottish Premiership appearances. However, he has fallen down the pecking order, with Greg Taylor preferred by interim Hoops boss John Kennedy.

It is not known if the Glasgow giants have any intention of trying to make his stay permanent. But, reports in Italy (via The Sun) claim the San Siro giants want to use him as bait to land Edouard.

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Former France Under-21 ace Edouard has been prolific for the Bhoys since making the switch from Paris Saint-Germain in 2017. He bagged 11 goals from 29 outings on loan in his first season north of the border and has been on fire since.

The French Guiana-born hitman now has 72 to his name from 134 appearances in all competitions. Unsurprisingly, a few clubs have taken note and Liverpool were linked just last month.

Leeds United and West Ham have also been mentioned in connection with the former Toulouse loan star. Milan coach Stefano Pioli is said to be a long-term admirer of the Edouard.

Reports in the Italian media claim the Rossoneri would make ‘an economic adjustment in favour of Celtic’ to do a deal. However, they value 28-year-old left-back Laxalt at around £8m and want him included in the deal to reduce their outlay.

It seems unlikely Celtic would do business with those numbers involved. Interest from the Premier League may well drive up Edouard’s value.