RONNY DEILA wants to keep Craig Gordon a Bhoy for life.

The Celtic keeper signed a two-year contract when, last summer, the Hoops gave him the big break he craved following two years out of the game with injury.

That deal still has 18 months to run, with the Parkhead club holding a further year's option.

On the form the 32-year-old has shown wince replacing Fraser Forster - he made another astonishing double-save at the weekend to deny St Johnstone a point - that is sure to be taken up.

However, the man who was sold to Sunderland from Hearts for £9million in 2007 is again attracting interest from clubs down south.

And Deila has made it clear he does not want to lose Gordon.

In fact, the Hoops boss does not want to see him ever leave the club.

The Norwegian said: "Craig is a goalkeeper we want to have here for the rest of his career."

Asked if he is already speaking to Gordon about the prospect of extending his current deal, Deila revealed: "We are talking with him all of the time.

"So, we have good control."

The man who has proved so many doubters wrong, and who has now set his sights on challenging David Marshall for the Scotland No.1 spot, is delighted to discover his manager wants to retain him for the rest of his footballing life.

Gordon said: "That's nice to hear."

Asked if it is something which would appeal to him, Gordon played it cool, perhaps mindful of the fact the game has already thrown up so many curve balls to him in recent years.

He replied cautiously: "Who knows? I've got a year left on my contract, and Celtic have an option on a further year.

"That takes me to my mid-Thirties, so we will see what happens after that."

Gordon wants the chance to win trophies, and to play in the Champions League.

The form he has shown since being handed this lifeline by the Hoops - on the recommendation of goalie coach, Stevie Woods, who was never in any doubt that he could recapture his very best form, despite so long out with a serious knee injury - has helped boost Deila's confidence his side can cause an upset by knocking out Inter Milan when they meet in the Europa League Last 32.

The Hoops insisted: "I have never seen a better keeper than Craig.

"He is the best I have ever had in my team, as a player or a manager.

"The most impressive thing about him is when you don't do very much and you are waiting and waiting.

"Then, when you are called into action, you make the save.

"Craig is so good mentally and also tactically."

Gordon will be one of the men Deila leans heavily upon in the first leg against Inter on Thursday.

And, as revealed in TimesSport on Thursday, he has not given up hope Kris Commons will recover from his hamstring injury in time to face the Italian side.

Deila said: "He is going the right way and he has a chance."