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‘PLEASE PLAY CRISTIAN,’ PLEADS COSTA RICA BOSS

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COSTA RICA boss Oscar Ramirez will meet Brendan Rodgers to plead with him to give frozen-out defender Cristian Gamboa some game-time ahead of the World Cup Finals in the summer.

The right-back, who cost £1million from West Brom in August 2016, has made just three appearances in this campaign, including the 3-0 defeat from Bayern Munich in the Champions League in October.

Gamboa has dropped out of the first team reckoning and was even pictured having a break in Marbella while the Hoops prepared for the Scottish Cup semi-final against Sevco Rangers eight days ago.

However, he remains an important member for Russia-bound Costa Rica and he played 75 minutes of their recent 1-0 win over Scotland at Hampden.

Ramirez will visit several European clubs this week to talk to his players and their managers, ahead of the summer extravaganza.

And he is due to meet Rodgers and Gamboa at Lennoxtown on Thursday.

Ramirez said: “I will go and talk to some of my players around Europe and explain to them my plans for during the World Cup preparation.

“It is also important to have a good relationship with the clubs and managers and see the situation of all of the players, particularly the ones who have not been playing like Cristian Gamboa, to try to negotiate the incorporation of some players before they finish their season.”

The Parkhead boss’ preference has been Mikael Lustig, who will represent Sweden in the World Cup Finals, but has also utilised Kristoffer Ajer and Jack Hendry in the right-sided defensive position when he has changed the shape of his formation.

If Celtic clinch their seventh successive title at the weekend, they would still have three league games to play and Rodgers could rest some his regulars as he prepares for the Scottish Cup Final against Motherwell on May 19.

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