BRENDAN RODGERS today confirmed that Celtic’s former Player of the Year Stefan Johansen will be leaving the club and making it clear that he would not be signing a new contract.
The player, who cleared out his locker at Lennoxtown on Wednesday, made his final appearance for the Champions when he replaced Paddy Roberts in the recent Champions League qualifier against Astana.
Astana incidentally progressed to the Europa League Group stages last night when their Ghanaian international Patrick Twumasi scored a late goal to ensure the Kazakhstan Premier League title-holders achieved a draw in Belarus.
Astana progressed with a 4-2 aggregate win after managing a 2-0 lead from the first leg tie in Kazakhstan. They are a decent side and beating them was maybe a rather under-rated achievement for Celtic.
‘Stefan’s going into the last year of his contract,’ Rodgers explained at today’s press conference.
‘I have found him a really good guy. He has worked over pre-season and it’s been difficult because he’s been unable to reach an agreement with the club.
‘But I think he has always wanted to play in England, so the opportunity has come for him. He wasn’t going to sign a new deal, so it’s one that probably works well for both really.
‘I don’t think it’s complete yet but it’s something that could happen, possibly in the next couple of days.’
Celtic are expected to receive a fee of £2m for the Norwegian and with Peter Lawwell already confirming that there’s further business to be done by Brendan Rodgers ahead of the window closing next week, this additional revenue will be sloughed back into the payer acquisition budget.
Rodgers has bought well so far so we should have a stronger squad this time next week with up to three new arrivals if all goes to plan. Most supporters would settle for two new additions now.