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RODGERS’ EURO DILEMMA

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BRENDAN RODGERS has a massive decision to make when he names his Celtic squad for the Europa League encounters against Valencia later this month.

The Hoops boss knows he cannot include all of his January signings for the crucial double-header against the Spanish outfit.

Rodgers was busy during the latest transfer window and brought in seven new players.

Ukrainian winger Maryan Shved and American duo Andrew Gutman and Manny Perez were signed as future squad members and have been put out on loan until the summer.

However, four other recruits were added to Rodgers’ pool for the remainder of the campaign as they chase an unprecedented treble treble, their eighth successive Premiership title as well as European success.

GOAL…Oliver Burke celebrates his first strike for the Hoops against St Mirren last month.

GOAL…Timothy Weah notches a debut strike against the Saints in the runaway win. Pics: Geo.

Ivorian international striker Vakoun Issouf Bayo arrived in a £2million switch from Slovakian side Dunajska Streda on a four-year deal while there were three loan arrivals – right-back Jeremy Toljan, from Borussia Dortmund last night, Timothy Weah, from Paris Saint-Germain, and Oliver Burke, from West  Brom.

Only three of that quartet can be registered for the knock-out stages of the Europa League, with the squad to be submitted to UEFA by midnight tonight.

Bayo played in the Europa League qualifying stages for his Slovakian team, but rule changes this season mean he is not Cup-tied.

Europa League regulations state: “As of the round of 32, a club may register a maximum of three new eligible players for the remaining matches in the current competition. Such registration must be completed by 1 February 2019 (24.00CET) at the latest. This deadline cannot be extended.”

In addition, the club has to meet rules on the composition of the squad with only 25 players allowed on their ‘A list’, which has to include ‘locally trained’ and ‘association trained’ players.

Two places have been freed up as Lewis Morgan and Youssouf Mulumbu moving out, the winger heading to League One outfit Sunderland and the midfielder returning to former club Kilmarnock for the remainder of the campaign.

The Hoops will take on Valencia at Parkhead on February 14 with the return leg at the Mestalla a week later.

 
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