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‘GIVE US A BREAK,’ RODGERS DISMISSES TRANSFER RUMOURS

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BRENDAN RODGERS has praised the SPFL for reintroducing the winter break this season.

Celtic completed a nine-game December with a two-week break in Dubai for some training in the sun.

Rodgers said: “My first point of call is to say well done to the governing bodies of Scotland.

“I have obviously worked in England a lot of my days and down there coaches and managers are crying out for a winter break and this is my first experience of it up here and they should be applauded for it.

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“Firstly, your supporters benefit from it. We had the traditions of the Christmas Eve game and the New Year’s Eve game, but the game is about supporters and players and if you think of supporters, January is a very tough month, you get paid late.

“We had nine games in December and everyone wants to follow their team.

“And for supporters to have that little respite, not having to worry about taking family to games, is important, as well.

“For players, it is vitally important that they get to press the reset button, it might only be 10 days or so because they are obviously working the course of the period and we had the good fortune to go to Dubai to work very hard and get some recovery in the sun and I see the benefits.

“The players are back here training, fresh, revitalised and looking to kick on for the second part of the season.

“Lots of the other teams have been working very hard, as well.

“It has been brilliant and, hopefully, that can remain the case going forward.”

Yesterday Sevco Rangers Assistant Manager Davie Weir called for the break to be scrapped to give his side a better chance of qualifying for the Europa League.

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This came after Weir’s team were thrashed 4-0 in a friendly in Germany at the weekend and the former Hearts and Everton defender claimed that not even £100million would be enough for Sevco Rangers to close the gap on Celtic.

Meanwhile Rodgers today updated us on the transfer speculation surrounding a number of players in the Celtic first team squad.

The gaffer confirmed that Kris Commons os back at Celtic after completing his short emergency loan at Hibs and will now be looking ahead to where he will be playing his football over the next few years.

“He’s back training with us after a good loan spell out at Hibernian,” Rodgers said. “It’s not just about the next six months for him but the next few years.”
Hibs are keen to take Commons on loan until the end of the season but aren’t in a position to pay Premier League wages until the Championship is in the bag. Commons has other options as his time in the Hoops draws to a close.
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It would be great if Brendan could make him a sub on Sunday so that he could come on near the end to say his goodbyes to the Celtic support.
One player unlikely to be going out on loan is winger Gary Mackay Steven, despite offers arriving from Dundee United and Ross County.

“I’ve had a number of offers for Gary but he’s not someone I would like to see leave,” Rodgers revealed.

“He’s a very important member of our squad here and in the second half of the season we want to be better.”

And Rodgers revealed that contrary to click baiting reports that Celtic had received a £5million plus bid for Israeli midfielder Nir Bitton, no such bid had been received for a player that the manager sees as very much part of his squad.

And Dundee United have yet to enquire about Nadir Ciftci, although they still have plenty of time before the window closes.

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