ANGE POSTECOGLOU will step up his recruitment drive to get in new players as early as possible next month.

The Celtic boss was involved in a whirlwind of transfer activity when he arrived at the club in June and a dozen new faces were brought in while key players such as Odsonne Edouard, Kristoffer Ajer and Ryan Christie headed for the exit.

It will be different this time around as he prepares to plunge once more into the market to further strengthen his squad that has been threadbare due to a spate of injuries that has seen the likes of Kyogo Furuhashi, Filipe Jota and Giorgos Giakoumakis sidelined with a variety of setbacks.

LOOKING AHEAD…Ange Postecoglou is lining up a second raid on the transfer market. 

Towering French central defender, who had surgery on a knee injury after colliding with a post in a 3-0 win over Dundee United on December 30, hasn’t kicked a ball in almost a year and exciting prospect Karamoko Dembele, who is out of contract in summer, hasn’t figured this season after limping off in a pre-season encounter against Bristol City.

As he prepared for the final Premiership meeting against rock-bottom St Johnstone in Perth this afternoon, Postecoglou admitted: “We are still with the intent of trying to bring them in early and if we can and, from my perspective, it would be ideal if we can get them in from when we restart training and give them a lead into the second half of the year.

“We’ve got a plan in place, obviously now we know there is some certainty around fixtures and when our first game back is, we will come up with a plan where, hopefully, we will get some of our guys who are injured back on the training field which would be great and also bring in a few.

“I don’t think I will ever go through another transfer period like I did when with the first one when we had to bring in 12, that was something unique, I think.

“This time we can be a little more measured, we’ve been working on it a lot longer, so I know what we want.”

DOWN AND OUT…Christopher Jullien receives treatment after colliding with a post against Dundee United at Parkhead on December 30 last year.

Postecoglou, speaking to Sky Sports News, added: “It’s still challenging, it’s not a precise science, but, hopefully, we get the ones we want we get them in early.”

“I’m under no illusions. Assuming we have this schedule where we’re involved in so many competitions, the first half of the season has shown we need a stronger squad. It was never going to happen in one window.

“If anyone thought we’d have a squad robust enough to tackle what we want, they’re kidding themselves.”

* DON’T miss the unbeatable match report and the best action images from St Johnstone v Celtic this afternoon – only in your champion CQN.


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