MOST of Brendan Rodgers’ first team squad will be back at Lennoxtown this morning for the start of pre-season training.

The Champions League qualifiers beckon and, while there will be a few extra days of recuperation for those on recent international duty, there has been little respite since the Scottish Cup Final win on May 27. These players will be back to begin pre-season training on Thursday.
Weekend reports linked Kieran Tierney and Moussa Dembele with teams across the border, but sources within Celtic maintain that neither player is for sale and, in any case, there have been no formal offers.
The Hoops also denied they were prepared to pay £4.8million for Lens’ 19-year-old defender Jean-Kevin Duverne although the youngster is on the club’s radar.
As the six-in-a-row champions prepare for another early assault on Europe, former skipper Tom Boyd believes they are in a superior position this season to quality than they were 12 months ago after Rodgers had just arrived as Ronny Deila’s successor.
The club ambassador said: “I think what Brendan wants is the team competing in the Champions League. We got better as it went on last season and we learned a lot and that certainly improved us.

“The club should be better prepared to get there now. As long as we don’t get that section again – there were some decent teams in there.”

Boyd added: “The manager has his own challenges here. There are demands to win every game and he is doing that.

 “He is bringing boys in who have shown what they have got on the park and he has improved the ones who are already here. Everything he has touched is turning to gold.”
Also on CQN today…


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