ANGE POSTECOGLOU insists he is not overly concerned about the possibility of a player exodus.
The Celtic boss is confident the club have done the groundwork in being able to replace departing stars with even “better versions”.
The transfer rumour market will pick up pace before the window reopens in January, but the jungle drums are already beating as under-pressure managers reach for the chequebook.
Plus Hoops performers such as Japanese trio Kyogo Furuhashi, Reo Hatate and Daizen Maeda, Croatia’s Josip Juranovic, USA’s Cameron Carter-Vickers and Australia’s Aaron Mooy are all likely to be involved with their countries in the World Cup Finals in Qatar next month and December.
CELTIC VIEWS…Ange Postecoglou gives his verdict at the media conference ahead of tonight’s Champions League match against Shakhtar Donetsk at Parkhead.
Filipe Jota has just been brought into the Portuguese provisional squad of 55 players while Matt O’Riley’s performances could open the door for a step up from the Danish Under-21s to the full squad.
Postecoglou is determinedly pushing for the club to make their mark on Europe and they go back into action in the Champions League again at Parkhead this evening when Shakhtar Donetsk provide the opposition.
The manager is aware of the possibility of his best players being picked off if they shine at the highest level on the world and European stages.
However, the Greek-Australian points out: “If our players move on, our job then is to replace them with better versions.
“We brought them here for a reason and they have moved on for a reason. So, we know how that works.
“When we bring in the next one, can we get a better version of that player? If anything, it may even help you transform it even quicker. If we’ve got players who move on because they have done fantastically well for us, that’s a helluva template.
“And if I’m getting a better version of him here that’s going to mean our progress will be accelerated.”
HEAVEN’S ABOVE…Kyogo Furuhashi celebrates Celtic’s fourth goal against Motherwell at Fir Park.
The champions have piled in 14 goals in their last three games with a 6-1 victory over Hibs at Parkhead and a 4-3 success over their city rivals Hearts at Tynecastle in the Premiership plus a 4-0 Premier Sports League Cup quarter-final win over Motherwell at Fir Park last midweek.
Postecoglou, speaking to the Daily Record, continued: “I said to the players, if we maintained the levels we had against Leipzig – physically and in tempo – in the league, we’ll destroy teams. That’s what has happened.”
Success in Europe’s elite competition still drives the ambitious former Australia international manager who added: “Spot on, yeah. I’ve done it at a World Cup, and just about every other FIFA tournament. I’ve tested myself in foreign countries.
“You want to test those theories, because they are all theories until you go out there. But I have a real belief that it will stack up, both in the short term and the medium-to-long term.
“I love that aspect and that is why I take that approach.”
* DON’T miss the unbeatable match report from Celtic v Shakhtar Donetsk this evening – only in your champion CQN.