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‘I WANT TO KEEP ROGIC,’ CELTIC BOSS

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BRENDAN RODGERS admitted he knew nothing of reports indicating Tom Rogic had knocked back a new contract offer from Celtic.

According to Australian media, the midfielder had refused an extension and could now be considering his options.

The 25-year-old Aussie international, signed by Neil Lennon in 2013 from Central Coast Mariners, has 15 months remaining on the deal he agreed in August 2016.

Told about the news circulating in the player’s homeland, the Hoops boss said: “I am not aware of that, to be honest.

“I know Tom and his representatives have been speaking with the club for a little bit of time, but that is the first I have heard about that.”

When asked about whether he wanted to keep the playmaker on a long-term basis, Rodgers answered: “Definitely. Tom is a very important player for Celtic.

“He has been a joy to work with in my time here. He has been here for a considerable period of time, but certainly in the 20 months I have been here he has been absolutely brilliant.

“Of course, at Celtic, we want to keep our best players. It is not always easy because at times they will either want to move on or offers come in from clubs.”

Rogic was a key member of Rodgers’ invincible treble-winning side last season and scored the stoppage-time winner against Aberdeen to clinch the Scottish Cup and complete the domestic clean sweep for only the fourth time in the club’s history.

Following a two-month lay-off, he came back to start the goalless draw against St Johnstone a week ago and came on at the interval during the Europa League exit against Zenit St Petersburg in Russia on Thursday night.

He is in the squad for tomorrow’s crucial Premiership encounter against Aberdeen at Pittodrie.

 
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