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Sunday, January 6, 2008
Celtic celebrate Boruc signing new contract

Gordon Strachan believes Artur Boruc's decision to commit his future to Celtic is 'great news'.

AC Milan have reportedly been keen on a goalkeeper who impressed against the Italians in the Champions League and was said to have set his heart on a summer move.

But the Poland star last night revealed he has agreed to a new three-and-a-half-year deal with the Hoops.

The new deal puts a halt to suggestions Boruc would look to break his contract in a move similar to Andy Webster's controversial 2006 switch from Hearts to Wigan.

And Celtic manager Strachan, who signed up Germany defender Andreas Hinkel from Sevilla on Friday, was thrilled when talks with Boruc which began in the summer came to fruition.

Strachan said: 'Clearly this is great news for the club and we are delighted to have agreed this new extended contract with Artur.

'He has made a massive contribution to our success in the past two seasons and will hopefully continue to do so in the years ahead.'

Boruc, 27, was a summer 2005 signing from Legia Warsaw and his previous contract had been due to expire in 2009.

Milan, whose Brazilian goalkeeper Dida has had a poor season, were reported in Italy to have pinpointed Boruc as one of three potential replacements.

But Celtic have persuaded him to commit to their cause and will hope the news can be a spur in their battle to topple leaders Rangers.

Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell conducted the contract negotiations, which will see Boruc receive a substantial pay rise.

Lawwell has pledged to do all he can to keep Strachan's most prized players at the club, and next on his agenda could be talks with Shunsuke Nakamura, who is being targeted by Japanese side Yokohama F Marinos, the club where he launched his career.

Nakamura's existing deal expires in the summer, although Celtic have a 12-month extension option which they are expected to take up.

Lawwell said: 'We are absolutely delighted to have successfully concluded our discussions with Artur.

'He is an important part of Gordon's squad and it's great news for everyone that he has committed his future to the club.

'The Celtic board will do all we can to support Gordon's plans for the development of the Celtic squad.

'This means, as well as continuing to strengthen the squad through bringing in new players, which we have already done in the past few days with the signing of German internationalist Andreas Hinkel, ensuring that key players remain here at Celtic Park.'

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