Anthony Stokes keen to seal new Celtic contract

The striker has been in top form for the Hoops and said that he is hopeful his goal-scoring displays will help bring contract negotiations to an end
Celtic striker Anthony Stokes is hopeful that he can secure a new contract with the Scottish Premiership champions.

After turning down Celtic's initial offer, the 25-year-old has been locked in negotiations with the club and said that he would like to bring the matter to a conclusion so that he could focus on playing.

"My agent spoke to the club a couple of months ago and I'm obviously eager to try to get it signed, but there's not much I can do," Stokes told the Scotsman.

"I'm waiting to hear back from my agent and I'll take it from there. I would like to get it sorted, to be honest with you, because I've only got seven or eight months left on my contract."

Stokes was in tremendous form for the Bhoys in their 3-1 victory over Hearts on Saturday, scoring the second goal and setting up the third. His tally in the league stands at four goals in three games and the Republic of Ireland intertnational is hopeful that his goal-scoring form will help finalise contract talks.

"I hope so, but you can just never tell," he said. "I'm happy enough with my form and the most important thing is that we're winning games. It was a good performance against Hearts and I'm looking forward to [the match on] Wednesday [against AC Milan].

"I'm just playing my normal game and enjoying my football. It took me a while to come back from the injury last year, but I'm playing with no problems and no niggles.

"For any striker, to be in the team and scoring goals breeds confidence in yourself. I'm delighted with my form. Since I've come back from pre-season I've felt fit and strong and I just want to maintain it now." 

Meanwhile, Celtic boss Neil Lennon expressed his desire to keep Stokes at Celtic Park and said that the striker has "taken on the mantle left by Gary Hooper."

"Anthony's in a good place right now. He looks as if he’s taken on the mantle left by Gary Hooper and looking to show he's the number one. He's answering all the questions," he said.

"We've offered him a new contract and I want to keep him here. I would like to see it sorted and the sooner the better."

Celtic face AC Milan at the San Siro in the group stage of the Uefa Champions League on Wednesday September 18.