Callum McGregor has revealed his determination to lead Celtic back to the top of Scottish football and beyond after penning a bumper new deal.
The 28-year-old skipper extended his current contract to 2026 after being sold on the club’s vision of the future by the board and boss Ange Postecoglou.
McGregor is aware Celts are going through a period of transition after a decade of dominance but he’s convinced the Hoops are on the right track.
He’s set his sights on reclaiming the Premiership crown – and driving Celts to the Champions League group stages.
McGregor said: “I love this club, I love everything about it. I love representing it and I love winning silverware.
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“This is the only place I want to play football and I’m just delighted the club feel the same.
“It’s great for everyone that they’ve committed to a long-term contract.
“I sat down with the board and the guys. They are very, very positive in terms of where they see the club going.
“Looking at the incentive for winning the league, it takes you back into the Champions League.
“And that takes you into an elite bracket of clubs, which is where you want to be playing your football.
“We’ve been there so many times where you win the league but still have to go and play qualifiers.
“But, with the coefficient being so good now and Scottish football being in a good place now, we’ve earned that right to have our title winners go straight in.
“So it’s a great place to be, it’s ultra competitive – and it’s a real incentive for us to get back on top.”
McGregor has been linked with clubs in England for several years – with former boss Brendan Rodgers at Leicester a huge admirer.
But he insisted he didn’t think twice about putting pen to paper on a new deal.
McGregor said: “It’s a great day and I’m just delighted to have signed on for another five years. We’ll take it step by step, I think.
“I love playing for this club, I love the idea of staying here. I’m enjoying my football – and I feel like I’m in a really good period of my career, where I can help this club move forward.
“I’m glad they feel the same and have put a lot of faith in me to drive it along.
“I think all parties were quite keen to do it.”
McGregor has racked up an incredible 337 games in his seven seasons in the Hoops first team but has been forced to sit out Celtic’s last three games with a hamstring problem.
He won't make tomorrow’s clash with Dundee United but is fighting to be fit to face Bayer Leverkusen in the Europa League on Thursday.
McGregor said: “It’s getting better, I’m hoping to be fit next week. I’m just stepping it up a little bit on the grass this week.
“Hopefully there’s no reaction and I’ll be looking to get back in next week at some point, so I’m nearly there.”
Hoops boss Postecoglou was thrilled to see his on-field general pledge his future to the club.
He said: “It’s brilliant news for the club. Obviously it was an important year for Cal stepping up to be the new captain and he’s already shown outstanding qualities.
“He espouses the values that I’m after. He understands what we’re trying to build and, on and off the field, he’s not just talking about it, he’s living it and he’s showing the behaviour that I want leaders to show, and as I said, he’s just taken his first steps but I think that it’s exciting with what’s ahead.”