BRENDAN RODGERS has revealed he was “a bit surprised” by Sead Haksabanovic’s comments on social media at the weekend.
The Sweden-born Montenegro international winger appeared on his Instagram account to say: “If they don’t see your value maybe you’re not at the right place.”
It appeared to be clear indication Haksabanovic, who arrived in a £1.7million move from Rubin Kazan in August last year, he was being overlooked at Parkhead.
The 24-year-old forward wasn’t in the match day squad for the opening-day 4-2 Premiership win over Ross County, as CQN reported at the time.
ON THE RUN…Sead Haksabanovic races away from the lunging Todd Cantwell in Celtic’s 1-0 Scottish Cup semi-final triumph at Hampden in April.
He was utilised as a second-half substitute in the Viaplay League Cup exit against Kilmarnock at Rugby Park and again in the goalless draw with St Johnstone on Saturday.
The player then made his remarks the following day.
Haksabanovic is now on his way out of the champions before tonight’s deadline and Rodgers admitted: “I said a couple of weeks ago I felt there would be players who would want to go out and play games and start.
“Haksa is one of those who will look for game time and want to be a starter. So, I would expect him to be moved on.”
Asked about the player’s comments, Rodgers, speaking to the media, answered: “To be fair, I’m not on social media, so I don’t know, but I did speak to him on it.
“I was a bit surprised, to be honest. I think that certainly from when I came into here he’s been offered nothing but respect by everyone, and certainly by myself, in terms of communication with him and the conversations.
“This is a new generation, and a new wave of player, so it doesn’t matter to me.”
WELCOME TO PARADISE…Nat Phillips gets his first look at Celtic Park. Image courtesy Celtic TV.
Rodgers also said Benfica midfielder Paulo Bernardo is on the brink of joining on a season-long loan which will make him the champions’ NINTH recruit of the summer.
In the past few days, Honduran international winger Luis Palma has signed a five-year deal after Greek club Aris accepted a bid of £3.5million while centre-back Nat Phillips agreed a loan switch until January.
Looking at the situation before the midnight shutdown and the possibilities of more signings, Rodgers added: “I’m not so sure. I don’t think there will be many more coming in.
“Again, a young player [Bernardo] is coming in with potential and that will hopefully be confirmed.
“He comes in with the opportunity to see him and give us more strength in depth in that midfield area. We will see how he develops.”