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Last Updated: Tuesday, 1 February, 2005, 17:57 GMT
Balde decides to stay at Celtic
Bobo Balde
Bobo Balde has chosen to stay at Celtic Park
Celtic defender Bobo Balde has agreed a new four-year extension on his contract with the Scottish champions.

The 29-year-old had been in discussions with Middlesbrough about a move but has decided to stay at the club he joined from Toulouse in 2001.

"I have had many things to consider over the last few weeks but my heart has been with Celtic for sometime," Balde told the club website.

"I want to try and help Celtic retain the championship."

The towering Guinea international had talks with Birmingham and was offered pre-contract terms by Middlesbrough.

And Riverside chief executive Keith Lamb told BBC Sport on Monday that he had "a verbal agreement" with the player.

The signing of former Liverpool defender Stephane Henchoz appeared to indicate that Celtic were resigned to losing Balde.

But manager Martin O'Neill is delighted that the defender has opted to remain in Glasgow.

"He has been an integral part of the team since he arrived," said O'Neill.

"I think I echo everyone's sentiments when I say how pleased I am that he is staying with the club."

Balde wants new deal
29 Feb 04 |  Celtic
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06 Jan 05 |  Scottish Premier
Celtic reject Balde offer
28 Aug 04 |  Celtic

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