Roberts remains cup final doubt

Celtic winger Patrick Roberts

Celtic winger Patrick Roberts admits his availability for this month’s Scottish Cup final remains in doubt.

The meeting with Aberdeen on 27 May clashes with England’s Under-20 World Cup finals campaign.

Manchester City loanee Roberts says it is unlikely he will be able to play for treble-chasing Celtic in the final and represent his country, if selected.

“I’m not sure [what’s going to happen] yet. Whatever happens, I’ll be happy and 100% to play,” he said.

“I don’t think [I can do both], because the squad goes in and the group stages finish the day before the cup final, so it’s one or the other.”

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Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers said on Friday that he hoped the club and the Football Association could reach “a compromise” on Roberts’ situation as the Premiership champions bid to add the Scottish Cup to the league and League Cup crowns they have already secured this season.

The player himself, who joins team-mates Kieran Tierney and Moussa Dembele among the PFA Scotland Premiership Young Player of the Year nominees, is content to not be forced to choose between club and country.

“I’d rather the decision was taken out of my hands,” Roberts said. “Playing for your club and country are both proud achievements and both big things to lose.

“I’ll speak to the gaffer, people at the FA and my agent, but it’s not down to me, so I can’t really make that decision.”

‘Last season was frustrating’ – Armstrong

Celtic and Scotland midfielder Stuart Armstrong<!–

Team-mate Stuart Armstrong – nominated for the Premiership Player of the Year award – has also sparkled at the heart of Celtic’s midfield, with the champions yet to lose a domestic game this season.

Deployed in a central role, Armstrong’s superb form earned him a Scotland call-up for the 2018 World Cup qualifying victory over Slovenia in March.

The 25-year-old produced a performance national head coach Gordon Strachan described as “the best Scotland debut I have ever seen”.

“Last season was a frustrating time,” Armstrong reflected. “I was being judged as a left winger and now I’ve had the opportunity to play centre midfield and managed to stay there.

“From that perspective, it’s been pleasing for me and pleasing to play a role in this successful team.

“There’s been a lot of good points of the season – winning the final back in November, winning the league. When the season’s all finished, we can look back and be pleased about a lot of aspects.

“A personal highlight probably was the Scotland cap for me.”

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