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Last Updated: Sunday, 15 October 2006, 13:56 GMT 14:56 UK
Maloney contract talks in limbo
Celtic midfielder Shaun Maloney
Shaun Maloney has found himself on the bench
Shaun Maloney's contract talks with Celtic are still in stalemate, but the 23-year-old midfielder has said it won't affect his game.

"The talks have been going on for months now," said Maloney. "And we aren't near a settlement yet."

"The whole issue isn't preying on my mind, if the manager picks me I will be totally focused.

"Nothing about my contract talks will ever affect my football, and the manager knows that."

Gordon Strachan previously admitted that talks to extend Maloney's contract had broken down.

Speaking last month about negotiations to keep the Mayalsian-born player in Glasgow, the Celtic manager said: "They are stalling, as they say in the business."

I know that there will be speculation that I can sign for another club in January - but I hope it never gets that far
Shaun Maloney

"It's just business, a game you play, but you need to watch out because the game can become dangerous."

Maloney recently returned from a groin injury that blighted the start to this campaign and played a part in Celtic's 4-1 victory over Dundee United at Tannadice in the SPL.

And, Celtic fans will be keen to retain Maloney's services, after the Malaysian-born player made history by being named as both Player and Young Player of the Year by his fellow professionals last season.

Responding to rumours about a possible move during the 2007 transfer window, Maloney said: "I know that there will be speculation that I can sign for another club in January - but I hope it never gets that far.

"In my heart of hearts I don't think it will.

"However much I want to stay at the club - and the manager and chief executive know how much I want to remain as part of the set-up - I can only sign a new contract if it is right for me.

"I don't think negotiations having reached a stalemate has affected my relationship with the manager and I would certainly hope that wouldn't be the case.

"But in situations like this one, both parties have to be completely happy with the outcome."

Dundee Utd 1-4 Celtic
14 Oct 06 |  Scottish Premier


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