O'Neill keen to keep duo
By Peter O`Rourke
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
The SPL champions have been in talks with Bulgarian international Petrov since the end of last season over an extended contract and O'Neill is hopeful of finalising something soon.
O'Neill has been delighted with Petrov's form as The Bhoys retained their title last season and despite still having three years to run on his present deal the Parkhead boss is keen to get on a longer contract to ward off any potential suitors.
Young Scottish striker Maloney is also set to be rewarded after breaking into the first team two seasons ago.
Maloney is highly-regarded within the corridors of Parkhead and he could get more first team opportunities as a result of Lubomir Moravcik's departure.
Petrov still has three years to run on his current deal, but O'Neill is looking to reward him with an extended term.
O'Neill is confident that agreements can be reached with both players as he plans for the new season and beyond.
"I would assume the contracts are little more than a formality now," said O'Neill.
"We were looking to improve Stilian's contract in any case, but he's still got another three years to run so it is not a major worry.
"As for Shaun, he has done very well. He knows how difficult it's going to be to break into the side but he is capable of doing it.
"His attitude is top class and I shouldn't imagine sorting out his contract will be a major problem."
Meanwhile, Celtic's French defender Bobo Balde is facing a fight against time to be fit for the start of the season.
The former Toulouse ace is struggling with a hamstring injury and although he is set to miss most of the rest of pre-season he is hopeful of being for the big kick-off on August 3.
"I have an injury to my hamstring right now which is a little bit sore, and it will stop me playing in some of the friendly matches," Balde told the club's official website. "But the main thing is that I am fit for the start of the season, particularly the start of the Champions League.
"That is the best club tournament any footballer can play in, and it was an honour for me to be involved last year.
"I'll be back for that, and then it will be up to the manager whether I play or not."