BRENDAN RODGERS has stressed the urgent need for Celtic to replace Moussa Dembele.
The Hoops boss faces a hectic race against the clock in his efforts to bring in new players with the transfer window poised to slam shut tomorrow night.
In the midst of the frenzy, the Irishman has to prepare his team for tonight’s crucial Europa League play-off second leg encounter against FK Suduva at Parkhead with the tie balanced at 1-1 after last week’s stalemate in Lithuania.
Success in the competition is now imperative in Rodgers’ quest to attract new talent to the club.
Dembele is on his way in a £20million-plus move to Lyon and the Celtic gaffer insists he MUST add to the team’s attacking options to cope with the challenge of another vitally important campaign at home and abroad.
He has £9million man Odsonne Edouard and Leigh Griffiths as his main goalscorers, but Rodgers knows there will have to be at least one more addition before the market closes until January.
He said yesterday: “It’s only three days before the end of the window and the club has to deal with something like this now.
“So, there’s a lot to take in, but you certainly can’t let your top striker move on without even having anyone to come in and replace him.
“I thought I could work with two strikers in my first season here. With the number of games and competitions we wanted to be in, that proved to be very difficult. So, we NEED three strikers.”
As he assessed other areas in the team that needed strengthening, Rodgers revealed another striker hadn’t been a position which had been identified, prior to the interest from Lyon and the expectation of a bid in excess of £20million for Dembele.
He said: “No, it wasn’t. There are areas of the pitch where we’re strong and that’s an area we’re very strong in, especially with Odsonne Edouard now coming back.
“So, it wasn’t one we were looking at.
“It’s a case of pulling together something at this short notice to see what is available.”