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Report: Celtic set to offer Conor Hazard a new contract after first-team breakthrough

The Scottish Sun have claimed that Celtic are planning to offer goalkeeper Conor Hazard a new contract to stay with the Scottish champions as reward for his breakthrough into the first team – but it could have been so different.

Hazard, 22, has come in for under-fire summer signing Vasilis Barkas and a somewhat inconsistent Scott Bain – and impressed with numerous saves against Lille in the Europa League dead-rubber last Thursday.

More importantly, perhaps, he helped Celtic keep a much-needed clean sheet on Sunday – their first in nine games. The Hoops got back to winning ways thanks to second-half goals from Mo Elyounoussi and Shane Duffy.

Hazard is only contracted until next summer and the Sun claim the Northern Ireland cap is set to be offered new terms. It could have been different, though, with Dundee making a loan offer in the summer – rejected by Celtic.

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TBR’s view – Well deserved, but contract should wait

While Hazard certainly deserves a new deal, the contract should wait for at least a few games – if Hazard is to remain number one. Celtic play in the Scottish Cup final on Sunday and he is expected to take on Hearts.

Should he impress in that match and cope with the pressure, and the next handful of league games, then he should be given a new deal. If he is given a contract straight away, Hazard might not be as focused.

Either way, a new deal is deserved and Celtic fans should be excited at the prospect of a new, long-term number one.

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