Nir ex­cited by Celtic’s 2020 vi­sion

The Jewish Chronicle - - SPORT - BYDANNYCARO AND SI­MON GRIVER

FOOT­BALL NIR Bit­ton has ended spec­u­la­tion over his fu­ture by sign­ing a new con­tract with Celtic un­til 2020.

The Is­rael mid­fielder, 24, was linked with a move to the Pre­mier League but he has com­mit­ted to the Scot­tish cham­pi­ons for five more years.

Bit­ton said: “As soon as I got a new of­fer I had no ques­tions about sign­ing. When you play for a club like Celtic you don’t think twice.

“It’s a huge club, has the best fans in the world and Celtic Park is one of the best stages in Europe soI’mjust­de­light­ed­toex­tendmy stay here.”

Bit­ton joined Celtic from Ash­dod in Au­gust 2013 and has ce­mented his place in the team, mak­ing 82 ap­pear­ances.

He said: “Celtic is a spe­cial club and ev­ery time I go on to the pitch I get g o o s e b u mps . When the fans sing You’ll Never WalkAlone it’slike some­thing from a dream and th­ese kinds of things make my life easi- er and hap­pier. I’m just de­lighted to stay here.

“I en­joy ev­ery minute at Celtic and my wife is very happy in Glas­gow so there was never any need for change. This is where I want to be.”

Yossi Be­nay­oun is tak­ing le­gal ac­tion against a Mac­cabi Haifa fan fol­low­ing a Face­book post, which he claims is li­belous.

If he wins, the former Is­rael skip­per says he will do­nate £24,000 to char­ity. With Haifa strug­gling to­wards the bot­tom of Li­gat Ha’Al, Be­nay­oun has be­come an un­pop­u­lar fig­ure on the ter­races.

In the fan’s mes­sage, Be­nay­oun is ac­cused of in­cit­ing play­ers to rebel against man­ager Roni Levy, go­ing be­hind Levy’s back to the club’s owner to com­plain about team se­lec­tion and al­legedly hu­mil­i­at­ing a young player who re­placed him when he was dropped.

B e n a y o u n ’ s lawyer Roy Rosen wrote to the fan,: “My client has been ex­posed t o s h o c k i n g de­mon­i­sa­tion, slan­der and

lies.”

PHOTO: MARC MOR­RIS

Ben Zloof

PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES

Nir Bit­ton

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