CHAMPIONS League goal hero Gustaf Lagerbielke could be heading for the Celtic exit.

The Swedish centre-back was the unlikely matchwinner when he headed in the clinching effort in the 2-1 midweek victory over Feyenoord at Parkhead.

However, Lagerbielke, who arrived in the summer in a £3million deal from Elfsborg, is reported to be one of the surplus players likely to be moved on during the January transfer window, according to the Daily Mail.

KNEESY DOES IT…Gustaf Lagerbielke celebrates his matchwinner against Feyenoord.

Hoops assistant boss John Kennedy has revealed the defence is likely to be targeted as Brendan Rodgers attempts to slim down the numbers in a 33-man squad.

Lagerbielke made a rare top-side appearance when he came on as a 75th-minute substitute for comeback Bhoy Stephen Welsh, making his first outing in four months, against the Dutch side to claim his memorable winner.

Cameron Carter-Vickers, who has missed the past two games with a hamstring problem, is poised to return against Hearts this afternoon where he is likely to line up alongside Liam Scales.

Maik Nawrocki, the £4.5million signing from Legia Warsaw in August, could be named among the stand-by squad.

On-loan Nat Phillips will on his way back to Liverpool when his short-term deal expires, as CQN forecast yesterday, while Yuki Kobayashi, signed by Ange Postecoglou from J-League outfit Vissel Kobe in January, could move on a temporary switch to get game-time.

Asked about the queue of players for the central defensive slots, Kennedy answered: “It is a position where we have a lot of players. In January, there is probably going to have to be a couple who go and get game time elsewhere. Trim the squad down.

HEADS, I WIN…Cameron Carter-Vickers rises to clear from Ross County striker John Samuel.

“If anything we are probably carrying a lot of numbers, so there will be a lot on the periphery who will need to get game time or maybe move, whatever it may be.

“Everyone will have their own agenda on that. When it comes to it, at Celtic, there is going to be four or five centre-backs in every squad.

“Then it is a case of competing with each other and be ready to step in whenever called upon, like Welshy the other night, he’s not featured for a long time, but came in out of nowhere and performed the way he did. He did really well.

“That is what you have to be ready for. Cam has been the one who has been most consistent over the years. You have to be ready to play.”

Looking at today’s Premiership encounter against the Tynecastle club where the champions have the opportunity to open an eight-point lead at the top, Kennedy, speaking to Celtic TV, added: “Steven Naismith has done well and the last couple of results maybe haven’t gone their way but they did have a good run.

“They are always difficult to play against and have set up in different ways against us.

“We just need to concentrate and we know the threats they carry.’

“They can counterattack quickly and they have a goal threat with the attacking players they carry.

“We have to respect that, but go out with the mindset of being aggressive and pushing them back as much as we can.”

* DON’T miss the unbeatable match report from Celtic v Hearts this afternoon – only in your champion CQN.

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