NEIL Lennon last night insisted that James Forrest isn’t for sale after wealthy Russian club Zenit St Petersburg were linked with a multi-million pound move for the Celtic winger.

Forrest, who scooped the PFA Scotland and SFWA Player of the Year awards last season, is the latest of the triple treble winners’ players to become the subject of speculation over his future.

But Lennon, who saw Kieran Tierney sold to Arsenal for a Scottish record £25 million transfer fee last Thursday, stressed he remains keen for the 28-year-old to extend his current contract.

The Prestwick-born player, who has started the 2019/20 campaign well and scored in Celtic’s last two games, committed himself to Parkhead until 2022 last year.

But speaking ahead of the second leg of the Champions League doubler header against CFR Cluj of Romania at Celtic Park tonight, his manager said: “Obviously we’re not going to sell. We actually want to look to renegotiate with him and maybe one or two others as well.

“He’s happy here. At 28, going away is a big choice to make, but we’re nowhere near that. I don’t have a price for Jamesie. I know there have been prices quoted, but it would take a fair transfer fee to prise him away from what we want from him here.”

Asked about the prospect of Zenit, who Celtic lost to in the Europa League knockout rounds two seasons ago, tabling a £12 million bid for Forrest and offering him a lucrative £70,000-a-week contract, he said: “I’m not surprised.

“But he is another one that we don’t want to go. He is a big player, a big goalscorer. He has been here a long, long time. He is under contract.

“It’s important to hold on to your better players, we have already sold one so we don’t want to sell any more. We are looking to add to the squad rather than selling any more of our important players and James certainly falls into that category.”

Lennon, who has once again been linked with Rosenborg left back Birger Meling, declined to comment on reports Celtic were interested in bringing in Kilmarnock defender Greg Taylor.

Meanwhile, the Northern Irishman has also expressed hope that French midfielder Olivier Ntcham, who has been linked with a move to Marseille in his homeland this summer, will also remain at Celtic.

The former Manchester City player, who signed a four year contract extension with the triple treble winners last November, has performed well for the Scottish champions in recent games against Nomme Kalju in the Champions League and St Johnstone and Motherwell in the Ladbrokes Premiership.

“He’s training really well, he seems happy and settled,” said Lennon. “We just want more of the same because we’ve got a helluva player there.

“He does things in training, he’s got real flair about him and ability. You saw that as the game wore on on Saturday. At times he’s too good a player to leave out.

“He just needs to be consistent now, he’s set himself a really good benchmark and to be fair he made a really good contribution when he came on in Romania too. He will definitely come into contention tomorrow night.

“As long as he’s here I want him here, I don’t want him to go. Obviously for a while he was thinking maybe his future lay elsewhere, but we’ve tried to reiterate to him that we want him here and we want his future to be here. I think he’s bought into that. I’m hoping so.”

“His all-round game is good. He needs maybe a little bit of defensive work at times, he could use his body better or do the yards a little bit more, but on the ball he’s just got that little bit of maverick about him. He’s a beautifully balanced footballer.”

Lennon was publicly critical of Ntcham when the 23-year-old admitted that he was flattered to be linked with Marseille and claimed that his development would be stunted if he remained in Scotland.

But the Northern Irishman has been pleased there has been no backlash from the Celtic supporters, many of who were critical of Tierney when he departed, and is hopeful they will continue to get behind the player.

“There is always going to be a few dissenting voices, as we’ve seen with Kieran leaving, and I get that to a certain degree but we’ve got to move on from that,” he season.

“We’re in the here and now and we’re looking forward to a very important game tomorrow night and want the players all hungry and focused and that’s where they are at the minute, touch wood.”