Celtic are ready to enter new contract talks with Nir Bitton .

The Israeli international has made a strong return from almost a year out of the game with a knee injury.

Bitton has impressed since boss Neil Lennon 's return and, although his current Celtic contract expires at the end of this campaign, the manager says discussions may soon be underway regrading a new deal.

 

Lennon said: “I was delighted with the way he was playing, he’s been outstanding whether he has played in midfield or at centre-half.

“Sometimes he can be a bit too composed! But from what I’ve seen of him lately, he’s been absolutely superb. There’s a maturity about him as well that has pleased me.

“Obviously we know about his contract situation and that’s something we’ll be looking to change as we go along, too. Hopefully we can get it sorted soon.”

But for the moment the 27-year-old will have to settle for a place on the sidelines, after being ruled out for the rest of this month with a hamstring injury.

Lennon added: “They’ve all came back fit and well. The only absentees we have is Nir who is out for three weeks with a hamstring injury. Mikey with a groin injury and Jozo with an ongoing knee problem but he’s seeing a specialist today.”

Bitton has been at Celtic for six years after Lennon signed him from his homeland team FC Ashdod in August 2013 and the player made his debut from the bench against AC Milan in the San Siro.