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RODGERS PLANS COACHING ROLE FOR TOURE

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BRENDAN RODGERS is poised to offer veteran defender Kolo Toure a coaching role at Celtic next season.

The 35-year-old Ivory Coast legend is out of contract this summer and was expected to end his brief stay in Glasgow after one campaign.

However, Rodgers is delighted with the leadership and influence the former Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City defender has brought to the club and will now discuss the possibility of a backroom role.

The Hoops boss said: “It’s something we’ll talk about at some stage between now and the end of the season, there’s no doubt about that.

“I brought him to Celtic for a number of reasons and one of them, of course, was playing. I thought to bring him in would help us get through to the Champions League. That mentality, and the experience of what it takes to get there, was going to be important.

“There are other reasons why I brought him here, like that influence in the changing room. And that doesn’t have to end after this season.

“He’s a good guy and I like to help good people. I want to work with him and it’ s something he and I will talk about between now and the end of the season.’

Toure hasn’t played for the first team since the 4-3 win over Motherwell the start of last month with the defensive pairing of Erik Sviatchenko and Jozo Simunovic the preferred option.

Now that Toure is settled with his family in the Stirling area, Rodgers believes he is open to extending his stay in Scotland.

The Irishman added: “He certainly loves it. His family have all moved up and they’ve all settled in well. You don’t make that commitment if you don’t think it’s going to be for longer than what his contract was.

‘He knows he’s at a big club in Celtic. It’s only when you come into it that you realise just how big it is.

“Of course, he’ll enjoy like the rest of us the pressure and the expectancy around Celtic to win.

‘When you’ve worked at a big level, that’s what you want and he has that at Celtic.”

Rodgers added: “When he was at Liverpool, I put him on his journey of coaching. We started him on his badges and he’s just completed his B Licence.

“He sees himself going down that route.”

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