BRENDAN RODGERS is planning a massive Celtic clear-out in January.
The Hoops boss oversaw an exodus of players in the summer with the club taking a hit of over £10million to get rid of expensive flops Albian Ajeti, Vasilis Barkas and Ismaila Soro.
The trio of duds – who cost £11.5million in transfer fees – got the boot as Rodgers set about streamlining the bloated pool of players he had inherited from Ange Postecoglou in the summer.
Quadruple treble hero Conor Hazard was sold to Plymouth Argyle while Dutch prospect Osaze Urhoghide also left while there were loan deals for the likes of Sead Haksabanovic, Adam Montgomery, Bosun Lawal and Liam Shaw.
THAT’S MY BHOY…Brendan Rodgers congratulates Liam Scales after Celtic’s 4-1 win at Tynecastle.
Now the Irishman is poised to stage and action replay and, looking ahead to the January Sales, admitted: “It’s more quality than quantity, but I think there will be more going out than coming in.
“There will be players who will be here for six months and won’t have played.
“It’s no fault of them. The squad is a lot bigger than I would want. I think there will be more players who will look to go out and get game time.
“Of course, over the coming windows we can look to improve the quality of the squad.”
The Hoops gaffer, speaking to the Scottish Sun, added: “We have enough development players. I love that. It is what I have done all my life, work with those players, but you need ones who can come in.
“So, it is genuine quality we hope we can bring in across the coming windows.
LOAN BHOY…Yuki Kobayashi may be on the way in January.
“After the last window shut, it was a case of speaking then to some of the players who didn’t get out.
“I said: ‘Listen, let’s see how we go over the next six months. If it doesn’t work out with game time, then of course we’ll look at it in January.’
“Some of those players have had game time and will be happy and others will feel they want to play.”
Rodgers didn’t name names, but there will be periphery players such as Swiss keeper Benji Siegrist, Japanese centre-back Yuki Kobayashi and forgotten man James McCarthy who could be heading out.
There is also a question mark over Liverpool loanee Nat Phillips, who agreed a short-term deal in late August.
HOMEWARD BOUND…Nat Phillips may be on his way back to Liverpool.
He may be seen as surplus to requirements at the champions with Cameron Carter-Vickers coming back from injury and Liam Scales preforming at an unprecedented level.
Gustaf Lagerbielke, £3million summer recruit from Elfsborg, is also knocking on the door while Maik Nawrocki, August’s biggest buy at £4.3million from Legia Warsaw, is back training after his muscular problem.
Stephen Welsh is also making progress on his comeback trail, so Rodgers may find himself spoiled for choice for the centre-back positions which may see Phillips return to Anfield.