Celtic are seeking to extend Daniel Arzani’s two-year loan deal for a further season, in a massive show of faith in the potential of the injury-hit Socceroos starlet.
Yet to feature in the first team since tearing his ACL on debut against Dundee 13 months ago, the 2018 FIFA World Cup bolter is targeting the Boxing Day clash at St Mirren as his comeback match, after suffering a bout of patella tendonitis on his operated left knee.
Despite the 20-year-old attacker’s trials and tribulations since arriving at Parkhead 15 months ago, coach Neil Lennon has seen enough in training sessions and several fleeting reserve team outings to petition parent club Manchester City for a loan extension stretching to the end of the 2020-21 season.
Talks are not yet at an advanced stage - but it’s understood Arzani is keen to stay on to put the frustration behind him and show Hoops fans the full repertoire of his talent.
Arzani has been in moth-balls since returning to Glasgow from last month’s Olyroos training camp in Qatar, with physios working on a strengthening regime which will culminate in a return to running in the coming days.
Celtic - who lead the Scottish Premiership on goal difference from Rangers - face a hectic December schedule with six games in 16 days, climaxing with the Old Firm derby against Rangers at Celtic Park at the end of the month.
The match shapes as the most significant between the old enemies since the 2011-12 season when Rangers fell into insolvency and were dumped into Scottish football’s third tier.
Celtic, without Rangers nipping at their heels, went on to win the next seven league titles.