CELTIC have opened negotiations with Odsonne Edouard’s agent with a view to ensuring the in-demand striker stays in Scotland for at least one more season.

The Frenchman is under contract at Celtic Park under 2022 but, with a number of high-profile European clubs in keen pursuit of his signature, manager Neil Lennon has revealed the Scottish champions are doing all they can to retain Edouard to help in their pursuit of a record-breaking tenth successive league title.

Speaking after being named the William Hill Scottish Football Writers’ Association Manager of the Year, Lennon confirmed talks were underway.

He said: “There are ongoing discussions at the minute with Odsonne’s representatives. Ultimately he’s a player we want around.

“He had a magnificent season this year and we want to keep him. It’s as simple as that. We’re doing everything we can to keep him here for at least another season anyway.

“Of course there is going to be speculation around a player of that quality. But we’re comfortable at the minute with the position we’re in with him.

“He’s grown into a top-class striker. He’s really blossomed over the last couple of seasons. He’s got a fantastic relationship certainly with me but also my backroom team and his teammates. You can see how much the supporters appreciate him as well. I think that’s reciprocated.

“He seems pretty happy and we’re all looking forward to seeing him at training. We’d love to discuss things with him and a few other players as well about what our plans are going forwards.”

Celtic will look to step up their summer recruitment in the weeks ahead, with replacements sought for the departed Jonny Hayes and Jozo Simunovic.

“We are looking to develop and improve the squad and those are two positions that we are looking at,” added Lennon. “A few other positions too.

“We had two recruitment meetings last week and hopefully we can get the ball rolling. That will create its own excitement. Recruitment is a big part of management.

“Nick [Hammond, Celtic’s head of recruitment] and his team have been working so hard, even over the last month or two.

“Jozo leaving was a difficult decision but one we felt was the right one for the club. We decided not to take the option up so that is a position we are looking at, younger ones to come in and play alongside [Kris] Ajer, [Hatem Abd] Elhamed and [Christopher] Jullien.

“There is a space there that we want to fill and we are looking at three or four different types of centre-half for that position.”