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Page last updated at 10:29 GMT, Friday, 18 March 2011

Celtic's Georgios Samaras agrees new three-year deal

Celtic striker Georgios Samaras
Samaras scored a double against Rangers at Ibrox

Celtic striker Georgios Samaras has signed a new three-year deal to keep him at the club until 2014.

The 26-year-old Greek had been free to speak to other clubs as his contract was due to run out in the summer.

Samaras's new commitment to the Glasgow club comes the day after team-mate mark Wilson penned a new one-year extension.

"I never wanted to leave. I don't care about other clubs, and I gave the manager my word I wouldn't sign a pre-contract." said Samaras.

"I was focused on how to get a deal with Celtic.

He's got something special and sometimes he can be unplayable

Johan Mjallby
Celtic coach

"I want to stay at this club and I am really happy about the deal.

"I have been four years at the club and the support I have from the people inside and outside the club is magnificent.

"It is a big club who tries to win every game and win trophies and that is the reason I signed for another three years.

"I had some conversations with the club and took our time to make the right decision."

Celtic coach Johan Mjallby was pleased to have finally secured the Greece international's services.

"It's a great signing," he said.

"He's obviously the kind of player that we wanted to keep.

"He's got something special and sometimes he can be unplayable."

The player joined Celtic from Manchester City on loan in January 2008 before making the move permanent at the end of the 2008/09 season.

On Wednesday, he captained the club for the first time during their 2-1 win over Inverness in the Scottish Cup quarter-finals.

After that match Celtic coach Alan Thompson told BBC Radio Scotland: "Georgie has come up for us in big games at Ibrox twice this season.

"He going to be a massive player for us in the future."

Samaras has struck six times this term, including a hat-trick against Inverness, and both goals in a 2-0 defeat of Rangers.

In total, he has scored 42 times in 136 appearances for the Parkhead side.

He has also represented his country on over 40 occasions, and played in all three games for Greece at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

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see also
Wilson signs new Celtic contract
17 Mar 11 |  Celtic
Celtic aim to keep Samaras/Wilson
25 Feb 11 |  Celtic
Samaras key for Celtic - Thompson
16 Mar 11 |  Celtic

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