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By ESPN Staff

Celtic striker Hartson facing 'toughest decision'

John Hartson admits he is facing the most difficult decision of his career - whether to remain at Celtic or quit so he can spend more time with his children.

The Hoops striker, 31, hinted after their Bank of Scotland Premier League title triumph that he could leave Celtic in the summer despite having a year left on his contract.

Hartson has split from his wife, who has returned to their native Wales with his two children.

And he has pleaded with fans to understand why he may be forced to walk away from the club.

He told the Daily Record: 'I would like everyone to know that the only reason I would even think about leaving a club like this is my kids. If I do move on then it's going to leave a massive gap in my life.

'I'll be speaking to the manager before the end of the season and sitting down with my family to decide what is best for me, best for them and best for the club.

'I have a year left on my contract so I have a lot to think about.

'If I do go it will be the hardest career decision I have ever made because I'm working with a manager who is a friend and I have a tremendous rapport with the fans who are phenomenal with me.

'I'd also be leaving a winning side which, with a bit of luck, will be playing in the Champions League next season. The truth is it would break my heart to leave all that behind.

'But I also have to keep in mind that I'm going through a divorce and I need to do what is right for my kids.'