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Jagielka to Celtic? Ex-Everton team-mate doubts free agent switch to Scotland

12:58 GMT+3 07/06/2019
Phil Jagielka Everton Premier League Team of the Week
The experienced defender has reached the end of his contract at Goodison Park, but Steve Naismith cannot see him linking up with the Bhoys

Phil Jagielka has become a free agent after reaching the end of his contract at Everton, but Steven Naismith is not expecting anything to come of talk regarding a possible switch to Celtic.

A move to the Scottish champions has been mooted for the vastly-experienced defender.

He is now 36 years of age, but is considered to still have something to offer at the top level in domestic football.

Neil Lennon would welcome the opportunity to add the former England international to his ranks but Naismith, who spent four years alongside Jagielka at Goodison Park between 2012 and 2016, cannot see a deal being done.

He told the Herald: “I saw Jags in January when I went down during the winter break.

“He’s a top player, he’s more of a footballing defender if you like. He maybe doesn’t look like that a lot of times in games but he is a very good footballer who could easily play in midfield.

“As he’s got older he’s played less, but I think he’s still got loads of qualities. When I saw he was leaving Everton my first thought was where he’ll go. I can’t see him finishing because he has a lot to offer and loves football.

“Will that be in Scotland? I would be surprised if he came up here.

“He’s got more association with different clubs down south, like Sheffield United where he came through, and he has a family with kids who are going through school. So with all those thoughts to consider I’d be surprised if he comes to Scotland.”

Naismith added: “But I’m sure he’ll play on at a good level.

“He’s a very good pro and over the last year or year-and-a-half at Everton it has been tough for him because he was a mainstay and would have wanted to play all the time.

“But from talking to him and other boys at Everton he has had the mental strength to adapt to that. He’s the club captain and has to have a level of professionalism and he would carry that off easily.”

Jagielka has spent the last 12 years with Everton, six of them as captain, and will be moving on after making 385 appearances for the Premier League club.