Stefan Johansen hails Brendan Rodgers appointment but doubts remain over his own Celtic future

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BY IAIN COLLIN – @CCP_sport

STEFAN Johansen has hailed the appointment of Brendan Rodgers as Celtic’s manager – but has confessed there are doubts over his own future at the club.

The Norway internationalist is out of contract in 12 months’ time and has revealed that, though negotiations have been ongoing with Celtic for some time, there remains no ‘clarification’ on the discussions.

The 25-year-old has been repeatedly linked with a possible move to the Bundesliga and speculation is rife that he will leave the Hoops this summer following the departure of compatriot – and former manager at Stromsgodset – Ronny Deila.

(Pic: Geoffrey Hammersley)
Rodgers appointment a ‘clear signal’ from Celtic, according to Johansen (Pic: Geoffrey Hammersley)

Johansen endured a disappointing campaign and Celtic are expected to be unwilling to allow his contract run down into his final year.

The midfielder is currently preparing for international duty in Sunday’s friendly against Portugal in Porto and, despite uncertainty over his own future, was full of praise for Rodgers’ arrival at Parkhead.

He said: “This is a clear signal from Celtic. I do not know him personally, but what I have seen in both Liverpool and Swansea is a technique that is well suited to Celtic.

“I have every belief in the appointment.”

However, with question marks remaining over whether Johansen will team up with Rodgers next season, the Norwegian playmaker was unable to clear up his future.

Asked about a new contract, he added: “We have been negotiating for a little while. There is no clarification on the situation.

“I have a year left at Celtic. That’s what I need to focus on, so we’ll see what happens.”

Rangers

Meanwhile, with Rangers back in the Premiership, Johansen knows just what he will be missing out on should he depart Celtic this summer.

The 2015 PFA Scotland player of the year has experienced the Old Firm derby on two occasions, with last month’s Scottish Cup semi-final defeat contrasting with the League Cup semi-final win over their city rivals last year.

Speaking to NTB, he commented: “I have met Rangers twice and have seen how big it is. The whole town is turned upside down.

“We have not so much focus on whether it is them, Aberdeen or Hearts we meet. There is an expectation at Celtic to win trophies, whom we meet is not so important.

“The Old Firm is still special. You see the interest, it is absolutely huge, it is one of the largest battles. It’s always fun to play them.”

@IainCollin

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