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Celtic goalkeeper Forster's leaving speech

THERE should have been muzak to accompany the reflections of Fraser Forster.

He was speaking in an upmarket hotel but his theme was departure lounges.

The 26-year-old Celtic goalkeeper, has been nominated for the Cheque Centre PFA Scotland player of the year award but this may be his last season in Scotland with Forster and another nominee, Virgil van Dijk, linked with a move to England.

The Englishman and the Dutchman are also hoping they will be in the departure lounge when their national squads head to the World Cup in Brazil.

Forster believes Van Dijk can play for his country after standing behind the 22-year-old as Celtic strode to the SPFL Premiership title and reached the Champions League group stage.

The goalkeeper believes it is "inevitable" that Van Dijk will move on, saying: "Virgil has been brilliant in his first season. His performances have been fantastic."

The England international thinks the partnership between Van Dijk and Efe Ambrose is perfect for the style of Celtic's play, with both capable of bringing the ball out of defence.

He said of the former: "Down the line he will move on to a different league - that is inevitable."

He was cautious, however, about his team- mate's chances of making the World Cup squad. "I am sure that will come in time. He might have to be a bit patient," he said.

Forster, though, is optimistic he can be part of Roy Hodgson's plans.

"There is no reason not to be," he said. "It's a case of working hard and if I'm picked it will be fantastic. It is out of my hands."

This philosophical attitude does not disguise his ambition. With Joe Hart of Manchester City a certainty and Ben Forster of West Bromwich Albion his most likely back-up, Forster faces a fight with John Ruddy of Norwich City for the last spot.

On matters Norwich, he returned to the departures theme, reflecting on his manager's chances of leaving Celtic. Neil Lennon has been linked with the job since the sacking of Chris Hughton and Forster said: "It's no real surprise. He has excelled in the job."

Hugh MacDonald

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Football

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