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Brendan Rodgers hoping to keep Craig Gordon at Celtic despite Chelsea link

Gordon hopeful Celtic can secure place in Champions League again next season
Image: Craig Gordon has been linked with a move to Premier League leaders Chelsea in this transfer window

Brendan Rodgers is not surprised by reported interest in Craig Gordon from Chelsea - but maintains the Celtic goalkeeper will not move.

The former Sunderland player has been linked by a number of newspapers with a switch to Stamford Bridge if Asmir Begovic leaves for Bournemouth.

Gordon, who has been the first-choice keeper at Celtic Park since the summer of 2014 after a two-year spell out of the game through injury, is out of contract in the summer.

Nevertheless, Rodgers is optimistic of retaining the 34-year-old, despite the lure of joining the Premier League leaders.

Of claims Antonio Conte is keen on the Scotland international, he said: "If it is the case then of course we don't want to sell him.

Craig Gordon celebrates
Image: Gordon has been Celtic's regular first-choice keeper for the last two and a half years

"I am not surprised. His contract is up at the end of the season but there is an option for the club.

"But it is not something we would consider really. It is a difficult decision for a player, especially if you are getting financial rewards at the end of it.

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"I worked at Chelsea for four and a bit years. There were many good players who came in and you get a little bit excited when you come in. The facilities are fantastic, there are world class players.

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers
Image: Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers is optimistic the club will not lose Gordon to Chelsea

"But after one year it is about playing. Craig has had that trauma of a couple of years out, not playing. And, from my experience, he loves playing football.

"He maybe thought his career was done but he is 34, as fit as he has ever been and playing at the best level he has done, according to him.

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"He has the opportunity to win trophies. He has the opportunity to play in the Champions League and he has an opportunity to stay at home with his family.

Craig Gordon made a save for the "highlights reel" durign Celtic's defeat to Barcelona
Image: Gordon has been a key player for Celtic in his time at the club and has made a number of key saves - including this one against Barcelona

"His kids are settled so he is in a good place and we want to keep him. Of course it is a great honour if these clubs want him.

"But he knows like all of them, Celtic is a huge club and he is very much part of what we are trying to build here."

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