Caldwell ignores Stoke transfer talk

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The Independent Online

Gary Caldwell has shrugged off reported interest from Stoke by pledging his future to Celtic.

Scotland defender Caldwell is rumoured to be a January transfer target for the Barclays Premier League club but he insists his only concern is finalising contract negotiations with the Scottish champions.

He said in Glasgow's Evening Times: "I don't pay any attention to stuff like the reports about Stoke.

"I love playing for Celtic and I want to stay here for a long time. There is no news about my contract, but I'm not concerned at all.

"I want to stay and the club have shown they want to keep me, so we'll get it sorted."

Caldwell helped Celtic salvage some pride for Scottish football last night with the country's first win in Europe this season, a 2-0 Champions League victory over Villarreal.

The 26-year-old was at the centre of the game's most controversial moment when Guille Franco was adjudged to have elbowed him in the first half.

Caldwell said: "He swung a couple of arms and didn't look like he wanted to be there.

"The assistant referee was very vigilant in spotting what he did, and if you do that you are going to get sent off. He deserved to go."

Celtic had already been eliminated from Europe before last night's match and Caldwell added: "We showed against a top side we can be very good, and we could have scored more on the night.

"So we definitely want to be back in the competition next season and hopefully we will do a lot better than this time."

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