Former Celtic captain Tom Boyd has told Parkhead midfielder Stuart Armstrong he needs to decide what he wants from football as the player’s exit from the club appears likely.

Armstrong signed a two-year deal with Celtic last August after a protracted summer of speculation about his future. The Scotland internationalist had a difficult campaign with injuries and his impact wasn’t what it was in the latter half of Brendan Rodgers’ invincibles season.

Crystal Palace and West Bromwich Albion have been keeping tabs on the midfielder’s situation and it is believed that Celtic are relaxed about any offers that may come in for the 26-year-old.

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Boyd, though, has told Armstrong he needs to make his mind up about what he wants to take from his career.

“I think he’s a happy man at Celtic. He’ll win things at Celtic,” said Boyd, speaking at a Tartan Army charity tournament at Goals football centre.

“What do you want to be as a player? “Do you want to be a winner? Or do you want to just earn good money?

“I really hope Stuart can stay at Celtic. We don’t want our best players leaving.

“I know in the grand scheme of things there’s a big gap between the Scottish Premiership and the English Premier League. Stuart clearly has a decision to make.

“He is a massive part of the Celtic team and generally has a big impact.

“Celtic are well covered in the midfield areas. If something was to happen, that Stuart decides to leave, then we’ve certainly got a lot of other options. But, we don’t want a player like that to leave and what he brings to the club. He’s got great drive and ability and we’d rather see him here.

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“At the moment, where it lies, if somebody was to come in and make a good offer then there needs to be serious consideration.

“At this moment in time he’s a Celtic player and hopefully he will stay a Celtic player.

“Stuart brings a different aspect to the central midfield area.

“We’ve got good players in there; [Callum] McGregor, [Tom] Rogic, similarly attack minded boys.

“Yes, we’ve got good cover.

“But I don’t want to see Stuart go. Hopefully we can get him to stay — a five year contract would be nice.”

Celtic will discover who awaits in the opening two qualification rounds of the Champions League group stages next Monday when the draw is made in Nyon. Rodgers’ side will have to negotiate three qualifiers and a play-off round if they are to make it into the group stages of the lucrative competition for the third successive season.

This is the first year that there is an additional qualifier for the Scottish Champions and Boyd has called upon the rest of the country to do their part in improving the UEFA co-efficient.

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“It’s a massive ask,” he said. “But we need all of the other Scottish clubs to get better. It helps the coefficient. Ultimately, that can stop Celtic from having to play four qualifying rounds.

“We need Scottish football to get better and I think the signs are there we can. The competition in the league is improving. I know Celtic are still the strongest. But Aberdeen, Hearts, Rangers, Hibs — things are getting better.

“The Steven Gerrard factor is unknown at the moment.

“Hearts should be better, Hibs did ever so well last year.

“So we hope Scottish football can keep on the rise and get the country back on the map in terms of Europe.

“We’ve seen it so many times in recent years, clubs being knocked out in the first round of qualifiers; clubs from countries like Estonia and even last year, Luxembourg.

“The Champions League qualifiers are nerve-racking affairs. There’s so much pressure on them. It’s a great achievement to get through to the group stages.

“The other hopeful clubs have got massive money behind them. So it’s a very tough challenge.

“Unfortunately, we’re behind a lot of the clubs with finance because we’re in Scottish football.”

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“To get better, to stop us having so many qualifiers, we need to achieve better results. Everybody — it can’t just be one team delivering.

“Hopefully, the other Scottish clubs can do it.

“The debate is constant over summer football and people say that might help. But I don’t think that’s ever going to happen and I don’t think it should.

“We just have to suck that up and make sure the players are prepared for these kind of games.”

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