BRENDAN RODGERS has admitted he held a three-hour strategy meeting with Celtic’s major shareholder Dermot Desmond in midweek.
And the Hoops boss believes he is in an ideal position to build his squad for next season’s assault on the Champions League.
Rodgers – who led his side to a dramatic 4-3 win over Motherwell at Fir Park yesterday to lead second-placed Sevco Rangers by eight points with three games in hand – met with Desmond in London to discuss the next stage of his rebuild of the champions.
He was clear when asked the reaction of the Irish billionaire when the subject of finances for the January window came up.Rodgers said: “He was very good. I had a meal with Dermot on Wednesday for three hours or so, talking about how we can improve and keep moving the club forward. We’re content, but want to keep pushing.”
Celtic conclude this season’s Champions League adventure with a visit to Manchester City on Tuesday, but Rodgers is already planning for next season’s qualifiers – and is eager to assemble the bulk of the squad for next term by the end of the forthcoming window.He said: “We have to look forward so, on Thursday afternoon, we had another recruitment meeting looking at specific areas. It s an important month, but you have to stay calm.“Strategically, we know what type we want. The identity of the team is pretty clear and all it is is trying to improve on that along with the continuing development of some of the players who are doing well now.
“We’re thinking about the process of getting in a few players and bedding them in, having them up and running by the time you come back in for pre-season.”
Rodgers has no fears over Moussa Dembele leaving, despite growing interest and has made it clear players will not be sold at anything less than the true market value.
Virgil van Dijk moved to Southampton for £13million last year, but he is now tipped for another transfer involving a far higher fee.
Rodgers is coy when asked if Celtic have accepted a little less than the going rate for players when selling to England in the past, but he is sure it will not happen in the future.
He added: “The different position the club is in now, with all due respect, is that I know the market and the level.
“If I see a player here and I think he’s worth £30million-plus then he’s worth £30million-plus. We don’t need to shift him for £10million.
“They don’t need the intermediate club to go. I would like to think that we can get the market value.”
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