'I'd love to keep him' - Lennon hoping Celtic hang on to Premier League target Edouard

Odsonne Edouard, CelticGetty

Celtic boss Neil Lennon is desperate to fend off interest from Premier League clubs in prolific striker Odsonne Edouard.

The French forward’s exploits in a Celtic shirt this season have reportedly caught the attention of Premier League clubs Chelsea and Tottenham, but Lennon is hoping the 22-year-old stays in Scotland for a few more seasons.

There have been reports that Celtic have opened talks over a new deal for Edouard, and Lennon feels there is still more for him to achieve at Parkhead.

Lennon said: “I’d love to keep him. I’d give him a five-year deal tomorrow if I could, but I don’t know anything about that and I would know [if there were talks].

“But, if it’s true, then brilliant.

“He’s improving all the time. He’s a talismanic player for us and he’s been absolutely magnificent this season but I think there’s more to come from him and I hope he’s doing that here with us.

"I definitely think there’s improvement in him. He can get better but he’s already a highly talented player.

“I think he’d be better off here. I’m sure there’s plenty of suitors so it won’t be down to my decision but I’ll do all I can to keep him. He’s not the type to be banging down your door. He seems quite happy."

Edouard has found the back of the net an impressive 27 times for Celtic this season, and is currently the Scottish Premiership's leading goalscorer.

He has also been in scintillating form at international level, scoring 11 goals in six appearances for the France Under-21 side.

Lennon added: “Odsonne’s laid back. He’s got 27 goals already this season and I think he can get to 30 comfortably and that would be a wonderful season for him but it’s not just his goals, his all-round game has been absolutely superb.”

Edouard originally joined Celtic on loan from Paris Saint-Germain for the 2017-18 season and the decision to sign him permanently for a club-record fee after 11 goals in 29 appearances met with mixed reviews.

However, the reported £9 million fee which Celtic paid PSG in 2018 could prove to be an astute piece of business given the way Edouard has progressed.