Reports of Mikael Lustig’s demise appear to have been greatly exaggerated.

The expectancy has been that Lustig will return to his homeland at the end of the season without Celtic triggering the additional year on his contract but Neil Lennon believes that there is still something for Lustig, capped 73 times for Sweden, to offer.

Indeed, Lennon has hinted that the fullback could yet remain at Celtic beyond this season if the Irishman gets the Parkhead job on a permanent basis.

Prior to his departure from the club last week Brendan Rodgers had pointed towards Lustig’s time at the club coming to an end with a public courting of a right-back. That was addressed in the short-term with Jeremy Toljan was brought in on loan in the January transfer window from Borussia Dortmund but was benched for the Scottish Cup win over Hibs on Saturday with Lustig restored to the starting XI.

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Lustig has been linked with a move to Swedish side AIK, which would fit in with his domestic situation as it is believed the player favoured a return to Scandinavia to fit in with the education system for his two young daughters.

“I’m not writing him off, I know what he is capable of,” said Lennon, who signed the player for Celtic in 2012. “And what a player he is. What Mikael has done for the last seven or eight years is play non-stop football. Whether it be 40 or 50 games a season here or European qualifiers, World Cup qualifiers, finals.

“He has been through the rigours of a physically demanding season. He has been playing every game possible and eventually the fatigue or stiffness or whatever you want to call it creeps in.

“But this guy has been a top, top player for this club and a top player for his country as well and I think he’s got plenty to offer Celtic. I don’t know [what will happen] but we will sit down and discuss things.”

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And Lustig is not the only one would could have a reprieve at the club.

Leigh Griffiths has not featured for Celtic since the beginning of December after well documented personal issues.

The Scotland striker has netted just six goals this term after a sporadic campaign even before he was granted leave from the club to deal with ongoing issues.

Griffiths has worked with the club’s medical staff to focus on his physical fitness but has not yet been involved with the rest of the first-team squad.

Prior to Celtic’s Europa League tie against Valencia last month Rodgers was reluctant to elaborate on just where Griffiths was in terms of a return to involvement, insisting that it was best of there were no further headlines around the player.

Former Celt Kris Commons claimed yesterday that Lennon has spoken more to Griffiths in the last week than Rodgers did “in month.” Rodgers had issued a public rebuke to the player when he was photographed drinking and gambling at a race track during the winter break at when the rest of t he squad were out in Dubai on a mid-season training camp.

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Having missed almost three full months of training and playing it remains questionable whether Griffiths will feature before thee end of thee season but Lennon plans to get a feel of just where he is physically and mentally.

“The sooner we get Leigh back the better,” he said. “Obviously we are keeping tabs on that as well and want to get him back on the training ground as soon as possible.

“[He’s not close], not at the minute, no. I don’t know if this season is feasible. We will have to gauge that.”

Lennon also expects that he will see the best of captain Scott Brown between now and the end of the season.

The Celtic captain signed a two-year extension to his deal, turning down a move to Australia in the process.

The midfielder had been wanted by A-League newcomers Western Melbourne but opted to remain with Celtic where it seemed inevitable he will progress long-term into a coaching role.

Brown set up Odsonne Edouard’s 92nd minute winner at Tynecastle last Wednesday night and then secured Celtic’s passage into the William Hill Scottish Cup with the second goal at Easter Road on Saturday.

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And having secured his future, Lennon expects to get a consistent finale from Brown.

“I know what it’s like to be getting into your mid-30s when you’re not too sure of your next step and people are saying, ‘you can go to America or you can go to Australia,’” said Lennon.

“But he is still more than good enough to play here for another couple of years. He has a contract and I’m delighted because it will settle him down.

“We are seeing the best of Scott Brown again, whereas before he was maybe a bit off the boil because there were other things swimming around his head. He is so important to me and John Kennedy.

“Like your Lustigs and your Jamesie Forrests, you need those sort of players who have been the course before. They are important to me personally at this stage and obviously the backroom stuff and Damien Duff are huge as well.”