RYAN Christie expects negotiations over a new Celtic contract to be concluded in the coming days after being told he has a long-term future at Parkhead by manager Brendan Rodgers.

Christie, who has struggled to get game time since signing for them from Inverness Caledonian Thistle back in 2015, has been outstanding in the Glasgow club’s last two games.

Rodgers had admitted he is keen for the 23-year-old, whose current deal expires in the summer, to extend his stay at the double treble winners.

And the former SFWA Young Player of the Year, who is set to feature in the Europa League game against RB Leipzig this evening, is keen to commit himself to teh Scottish champions.

“We’re in negotiations right now and it has all been positive,” he said. “I spoke to the manager the other day and he made me aware that he wanted me to stay and there was a pathway and that was all I needed to hear.

“I’m looking forward and it’s been positive and hopefully we can get that deal sorted soon.”

Christie spent the last season and a half at Aberdeen and Pittodrie manager Derek McInnes admitted he was keen to secure the services of the attacking midfielder on a permanent deal if possible.

However, the player stressed that he has always been determined to establish himself at Celtic despite the difficulties he encountered getting a regular start.

“There have been frustrating days,” he said. “It has been a long path and it has needed plenty of patience. No players like sitting in the stands or not getting on the park. There have been frustrating times.

“But, as a whole, I felt I always had a chance, especially after coming back last season. There was a lot of talk about me maybe moving on, but I always thought I would have a chance and an opportunity would open up.

“I’d said to myself that I would only look at other options when I was told my time was up at Celtic. Until I was told otherwise, I’d decided to keep my head down and keep pushing.”

“Obviously, it has been good to get a run of games. It is up to me to push on, keep making and impact and contribute to the team.”

Rodgers feels that Christie has forced his way into his plans in the 2018/19 campaign due to the work he has done in the gym and the player paid tribute to the Celtic sports science staff at Lennoxtown for helping him to improve his physique.

“If you are playing in midfield in this country you need to win your physical battles,” he said. “That is something I didn’t really have when I first joined Celtic so hopefully it is something that I have added to my game and am looking to improve.

“It is all down to the sports science boys upstairs. They are brilliant. They have managed to bulk me up a bit, but still keep me quick. They haven’t let me get me too heavy.

“All the gym programmes they set me up to do are laid out perfectly so that that situation doesn’t really happen. I have been happy with the outcome so far, but I know there is more still do do.”

“I think I have maybe got faster as a result as well. Bulking up in my legs was always going to give me a bit more pace. Any kind of additions I can make to myself physically will hopefully pay off on the park. To be fair, even when I came back in pre-season after my loan spells away at Aberdeen I felt fitter and stronger. It has put me in good stead for the season.”