Celtic are reportedly looking to offer a new bumper deal to reserve goalkeeper Conor Hazard. That’s according to Football Insider, who claim that Peter Lawwell is looking to increase his terms after the 22-year-old stepped up to the plate in Celtic’s last two matches.
Hazard started ahead of Scott Bain and Vasilis Barkas against both Lille and Kilmarnock, helping the Hoops return to the winning streak they are more than capable of maintaining.
It’s likely that Neil Lennon will now turn to the youngster for the remainder of the season. Celtic are playing catch up as they hope they still have time to close down rivals Rangers and take back the top spot in the Premiership.
Summer signing Barkas has had a disappointing debut season so far after struggling to cement himself as his new club’s first choice. Bain took over from the Greece international after he struggled with a back injury and he has rarely been seen since. But now, even his teammate has disappointed Lennon and he has been forced to call upon Hazard to step up.
Before his back-to-back starts, the Northern Ireland international had featured just one other time for the Celtic senior team. This was way back in 2017, in a cameo appearance against Partick Thistle in the league (via Transfermarkt). However, being just a teenager at the time, he clearly wasn’t viewed as a reliable option to integrate into the team.
His patience and hard work has paid off though and he could now be looking at becoming Celtic’s No.1 next season. With Lawwell acknowledging his work ethic and eagerly lining up a new deal for him, this could spell a very fruitful career for Hazard at Parkhead. It’s also a smart piece of business from the Englishman, who will be more than aware of other clubs noticing the goalkeeper’s progress.
Tying him down whilst he is still on the rise is essential for the Bhoys if they want to return next season and punish Rangers.