Neil Lennon insists any suggestions Celtic are trying to force skipper Scott Brown out of the club are "complete nonsense''.
Brown, signed from Hibernian in 2007, has agreed personal terms to extend his contract which runs out at the end of the season but talks have stalled with the midfielder.
At the pre-match press conference at Celtic Park ahead of Saturday's visit of St Mirren in the Scottish Premier League, the Hoops boss addressed the increasingly strange situation surrounding Brown, who is back in training after recovering from an ankle injury, and reiterated the impasse was due to the fee demanded by the player's advisors.
"We had the Scott Brown story that we are forcing him out which is complete nonsense," Lennon said. "I think he would like it resolved. It is a good contract, a lengthy contract and it shows our commitment to him. I think both sides can make it happen so the sooner it is done the better.
"I would be disappointed (if Brown signed a pre-contract with anyone) but at the end of the day players have to look after themselves as well at times. The last thing I want or the club wants is for Scott to walk out of the door on freedom of contract. At the minute I am confident (that won't happen) but you just never know in football.''