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‘CHELSEA WON’T WIN THIS ONE,’ RODGERS

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BRENDAN RODGERS insists Chelsea are wasting their time looking at Celtic keeper Craig Gordon.
The Scotland international kept another clean sheet as the champions overcame St. Johnstone 1-0 at Parkhead last night to equal the 26-game unbeaten domestic run achieved by the Lisbon Lions half-a-century ago.
Reports from across the border are linking Gordon with the Premier League leaders who are pondering a £10million bid for Asmir Begovic from Bournemouth.
But Rodgers stressed Celtic, who have the option of retaining the experienced shotstopper for another season after his contract expires in the summer, have no interest in selling him.
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The Hoops boss said: “I’m not surprised. It’s another demonstration of where the team is at and the qualities they’ve shown that Craig is speculated about. It’s testament to him and the team.

“There is a lot of speculation about many of our players. It’s credit to them that they’re performing so well that these great clubs are interested in them.

“However, Craig’s very much a part of what I’m doing here.

“You can see how calm he is. He is 34 years old, he can go on for a number of years and be a real pillar of this team.

“Would Chelsea be wasting their time? Yes, of course. If it is the case they are interested, we don’t want to sell him.

“His contract is up at the end of the season, but the club have an option. Selling Craig is not something we would even consider. He is someone I want to lock down for during my time here.

“He’s a good guy, he’s very happy in his life and he’s enjoying playing this style of football. It’s given him a real edge to his game.

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“So much so if a club like Chelsea are interested it shows the level he is at. I’m delighted for him, he’s stuck at it and performed really well.”

Rodgers believes the spell on the sidelines through injury that jeopardised Gordon’s career will ensure he remains at Parkhead.

He added: “I worked at Chelsea for four-an-a-bit years so I know it’s very difficult for players, especially if they are getting a financial reward.
“I saw many good players coming in. They get excited at first, there is fantastic facilities and world-class players around. But a year in, it’s about playing.

“The beauty about Craig is that he has had that trauma of not playing. Speaking to him, he loves playing football and there was a time when he thought his career was done.

“But he is now fitter than ever and playing at the best level he’s ever been, according to him. His game knowledge is at a high level.

“He knows he has the opportunity to win trophies here, to play in the Champions League. He can stay at home and his kids are settled.

“Craig’s in a good place and we want to keep him. Of course, it’s an honour these clubs want our players, but he knows this is a huge club and he he knows what we are trying to build here.”

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