Sin­clair con­fi­dent Gor­don will shun move to Chelsea

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SCOTT SIN­CLAIR, the Celtic winger, last night ex­pressed con­fi­dence that Craig Gor­don, who Chelsea re­main keen to sign, will stay at Park­head be­yond the Jan­uary trans­fer win­dow.

The Bar­clays Pre­mier League lead­ers, who are pre­pared to let sec­ond-choice keeper As­mir Be­govic leave for Bournemouth, had an of­fer of un­der £3m for Gor­don turned down last week.

Brendan Rodgers, the Celtic man­ager, is adamant he will not al­low the Scot­land in­ter­na­tion­al­ist, who has been a reg­u­lar first-team starter for him this sea­son, to leave.

How­ever, the Stam­ford Bridge club are ex­pected to test the Scot­tish cham­pi­ons’ re­solve by tabling an im­proved bid for the player ei­ther to­day or to­mor­row.

Gor­don, who has 18 months left to run on his con­tract, has been in­trigued by the in­ter­est shown in him by An­to­nio Conte, even though he would only be back-up to Thibaut Cour­tois.

But Sin­clair, who spent three sea­sons at Chelsea early in his ca­reer, sug­gested that his 34-year-old team mate, who has just won back his place in the na­tional team, would be keen to play reg­u­larly rather than sit on the bench.

“I’m sure the man­ager won’t want to let Craig go,” he said. “He’s mas­sive to us. There’s a few days left so we’ll just need to wait and see.

“He’s old enough now and he’s played in the Pre­mier League. I don’t think any­thing will get to him. In a few days every­one will know what is hap­pen­ing.

“Every­one’s ex­pe­ri­ence is dif­fer­ent. I’ve been to Chelsea and Man City. I started at Chelsea and then got to an age when I wanted to play and moved to Swansea.

“Then I moved to Man City and didn’t play as many games as I’d have wanted to do. Every­one is dif­fer­ent and we all have choices and it’s up to Craig to make the choice.”

Sin­clair, who scored twice yesterday as Celtic beat Hearts 4-0 at Park­head to stretch their un­beaten start to the do­mes­tic sea­son to 27 games and set a new post-war Scot­tish record, feels that Kieran Tier­ney is set to at­tract in­ter­est from ma­jor clubs across Europe.

“He’s a great young player and rightly got the man of the match to­day,” he said. “He’s get­ting tons of ex­pe­ri­ence play­ing ev­ery week and hav­ing that en­joy­ment play­ing and get­ting for­ward to show his qual­ity.

“Loads of clubs around Europe will be af­ter him. He’s a guy who wants to learn and gives 100 per cent in train­ing. That’s great to see.”

Mean­while, Sin­clair re­vealed ev­ery mem­ber of the Celtic squad was keen to main­tain their win­ning run – start­ing with the league meet­ing with sec­ond­placed Aberdeen on Wed­nes­day evening.

“I think it’s mas­sive,” he said. “It’s a great achieve­ment for the play­ers and the man­ager and it shows how hard we’ve been work­ing. The work doesn’t stop there. We keep on go­ing.

“We’ve just got to take each game as it comes as that’s what we’ve been do­ing and it’s worked so far. We take it step-bystep and try to con­tinue this run.

“It’s a mas­sive achieve­ment through­out the whole squad. The man­ager has got his points across and hope­fully we keep it go­ing.

“Through­out the whole squad every­one is so hun­gry. Even guys com­ing off the bench are hun­gry. Look at Dedryck [Boy­ata] and see his qual­i­ties and then to­day Patrick [Roberts].

“There are so many play­ers who are hun­gry and give their all and that’s a great qual­ity to have.”

Sin­clair took his tally for the 2016-17 cam­paign to 15 with his brace against Hearts and now has his sights set on bet­ter­ing the 27 goals he net­ted when Swansea City won pro­mo­tion to the Pre­mier League in the 2010-11 sea­son.

“It’s nice to get on the score­sheet,” he said. “We didn’t have a num­ber nine in the squad with Moussa [Dem­bele] and Leigh [Grif­fiths] out and hope­fully it’s not for long.

“But we were great as a team go­ing for­ward and we pressed ag­gres­sively, which the man­ager wanted us to do, and we got the win. I hope I can beat the 27-goal mark. That would be great on a per­sonal level but the main thing is to win games. If I score and get three points then even bet­ter.”

Pic­ture: SNS

SPOT ON: Scott Sinclar puts the seal on an em­phatic win as Celtic broke a 50-year post-war club record for games un­beaten.

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