UNDER the terms of the four-year deal he signed in September, James Forrest is tied to Celtic until the summer of 2022.
However, while it is an impressive long-term commitment to extract from a player, Hoops keeper Craig Gordon reckons even it won’t dissuade would-be buyers from eyeing his team-mate.
“James was absolutely outstanding in the last two games for Scotland, and if he continues scoring as many goals and doing as well, I am sure there will still be admiring glances from other clubs,” he said.
“Some of his touches in the Israel game and his finishes were so calm.
“He’s upped his goal tally from what he’d been getting, and he’s just continuing to improve and improve.
“He is playing so consistently well that teams – be it from down south or further afield in Europe – are going to be looking.
“There are not too many players at the very top level who have been involved in the amount of goals he has, and is so consistent that clubs are going to be looking.
“Scouts will be analysing his statistics and will be taking notice of what he is giving to his teams.
“We are lucky to have him and, hopefully, he continues the rare form he is in.
“He’s one of our go-to men in this Celtic team. If he’s not scoring himself, he’s getting assists. It’s an incredible run he’s on. He’s playing so well.”
At 27, Forrest is hardly a new discovery. It is seven years since he made his Scotland debut in a match against the Republic of Ireland.
According to Gordon, though, it is only since he has been working under the charge of Brendan Rodgers that he has become a dominant presence.
“The manager here has been excellent for him,” said the Celt, who is himself hoping to be fit for Thursday’s clash with Rosenborg in Norway.
“He’s really taken him that stage further and made him more aware –tactically and positionally – about where he should be on the field to get these opportunities.
“He probably would have started with Scotland when I was injured. I’ve always known he’s got tremendous ability, the pace and kind of direct play to trouble anybody.
“Tactically and everything else, it’s really come together. When he hits top form, there’s not many better and we’re seeing that over a consistent basis now. It’s not just the odd game here and there, as wingers can do at times.
“When you’ve got somebody like that in your team, it’s a great feeling to know that every time he gets the ball, something’s going to happen.”