JAMES FORREST is under lock and key at Celtic until the summer of 2022, at least.
The on-fire winger agreed a four-year extension in September as he committed his future to the Scottish champions.
However, Craig Gordon, his Scotland team-mate, believes that will not stop other clubs taking notice as the season unfolds.
Forrest fired in a brilliant double in his nation’s 4-0 UEFA Nations League success in Albania earlier this month to claim his first international strikes in his 25th appearance.
And the tricky touchline ace went one better last week when he claimed a scintillating hat-trick in the 3-2 triumph over Israel to put Alex McLeish’s men top of their qualifying group.
Keeper Gordon said: “James was absolutely outstanding in the last two games for Scotland – and if he continues scoring as many goals and doing as well, I am sure there will still be admiring glances from other clubs.
“Some of his touches in the Israel game and his finishes were so calm.
“He’s upped his goal tally from what he’d been getting and he’s just continuing to improve and improve.
HAMPDEN’S HAT-TRICK HERO…James Forrest following last week’s trio against Israel. Pic: Geo.
“He is playing so consistently well that teams – be it from down south or further afield in Europe – are going to be looking.
“There are not too many players at the very top level who have been involved in the amount of goals he has. He is so consistent clubs are going to be looking.
“Scouts will be analysing his statistics and will be taking notice of what he is giving to his teams.
“We are lucky to have him and, hopefully, he continues the rare form he is in.
“He’s one of our go-to men in this Celtic team. If he’s not scoring himself, he’s getting assists. It’s an incredible run he’s on. He’s playing so well.”
The 27-year-old raider will look to take centre stage again at the national stadium on Sunday when Brendan Rodgers’ team take on Aberdeen in the Betfred League Cup Final.
Forrest has already scored against the Dons in the Final of the competition two years ago as the Hoops triumphed 3-0. The Pittodrie defence could be in for a torrid time in another silverware showdown.