TOSH McKinlay, the former Celtic and Scotland left back, believes securing the services of Emilio Izaguirre on a new contract will be a huge positive for the Scottish champions both on and off the park.

Izaguirre, the Honduran internationalist who was named PFA Scotland and SFWA Player of the Year back in 2011, has lost his place in the Celtic first team to Kieran Tierney in the past two seasons.

However, the 31-year-old, who will fly out of Glasgow with the rest of the Celtic squad today for pre-season training in Austria, has indicated he is keen to commit his future to the Parkhead club.

He still made 18 appearances for Brendan Rodgers’s side in the 2016/17 campaign as they went undefeated domestically and won the Betfred Cup, Ladbrokes Premiership and William Hill Scottish Cup.

Rodgers has told the defender he is keen for him to remain in Glasgow and the popular player has admitted he would like to sign a three year extension to his current agreement.

McKinlay welcomed his comments and predicted it would be a massive boost for Celtic if the player they signed from Motagua in Honduras for just £650,000 back in 2010 stays.

“Kieran has obviously been in fantastic form in his position,” he said. “But Emilio has proved over the past seasons that he is a top player as well. It would be great for everyone if he was to sign a new deal with the club.

“In terms of both a player and a person, I don’t think Celtic could ask for anyone better. He is very important on and off the pitch. He is a top human being.

“I am sure the manager will be delighted with Kieran. He is playing very well, is an Invincible and a Treble winner. He has got the whole lot.

“But Emilio is a great player in his own right. You don’t have six league winner’s medals without knowing what you are doing.

“I played in his position myself and know what is required. Emilio is a proper Celtic full back. He likes to get forward and attack when he can and get crosses into the box. As a player and as a person he is a top man to have around the club.”

McKinlay, though, dismissed suggestions that Izaguirre’s presence at Celtic helps to keep Tierney performing well.

“I don’t think it makes a difference,” he said. “Kieran trains and plays hard every day. He listens to the manager and to the coaching staff. I am sure he watches Emilio as well as Scott Brown who is his role model.

“Kieran is the perfect Celtic player – he trains hard, works hard and wants to improve his game. He is reaping the rewards of that at club and international level.

“But it doesn’t really matter who is pushing Kieran, he wants to do it. He is learning his trade and has the perfect man to do it under. The manager is a top coach.

“But Kieran has got the inner strength and belief that you need to be a top player. He has made great progress in a short period of time”