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Last Updated: Friday, 27 January 2006, 14:23 GMT
Petrov extends stay with Celtic
Stilian Petrov poses with manager Gordon Strachan
Petrov has been at Celtic Park since 1999
Stilian Petrov has signed a contract extension with Celtic to end speculation about his future with the Scottish Premier League leaders.

The 26-year-old Bulgaria midfielder's new deal lasts until summer 2009, with Celtic having the option of extending that for a further season.

Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell said: "Stilian has already been a tremendous servant.

"And he will be a key player for Celtic in the years ahead."

Manager Gordon Strachan had been determined to hold on to a midfielder who scores his fair share of goals.

When you feel that someone trusts you and believes in you, you feel more welcome
Stilian Petrov

But negotiations had appeared to break down and Petrov was linked with clubs in the English Premiership.

"There has been a lot of speculation and I have had a lot of questions from my team-mates and fans about when I would sign - when it would be over," said Petrov, who arrived in Glasgow in 1999.

"Now I'm glad that's finished and the whole thing has been sorted out.

"It was not very difficult. It was important for me to make this deal.

"I knew it would take time, the chief executive and the manager knew it would take a long time and I'm happy to agree this deal and keep playing for Celtic.

"I've been speaking to the manager all the time and he has been very supportive to me.

"When you feel that someone trusts you and believes in you, you feel more welcome."

Strachan has urged younger players at the club to use Petrov as their role model.

He said: "He looks after himself and he is a professional.

"The younger players need to learn the way a professional behaves and that's what he gives us.

"That saves me speaking to the players about how you behave not just on the pitch but also off it."


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