JOHN KENNEDY insists Brendan Rodgers has NO intention of quitting Celtic – and is already planning for a fourth season in charge at Parkhead.
The Hoops gaffer’s future at his boyhood favourites has been open to speculation since last summer when he voiced his displeasure at the club’s lack of business in the transfer window, notably the failure to sign John McGinn from Hibs with the midfielder moving to Aston Villa.
Failure to qualify for the Champions League group stages added fuel to the conjecture.
The latest reports from across the border indicate Leicester City, with Claude Puel being sacked this morning following the 4-1 hammering at home from Crystal Palace yesterday, monitoring Rodgers’ situation as he attempts to lead the club to an unprecedented treble treble.
Celtic went out of the Europa League on Thursday night when they unluckily lost 1-0 to Valencia after bossing the game until Jeremy Toljan’s sending-off in the 37th minute.
PENSIVE…Brendan Rodgers watches Celtic against Valencia on Thursday night.
Kennedy, one of Rodgers’ first-team coaches, insisted work is already being done to freshen the squad for next term and is also adamant the Irishman, who signed a four-year deal in 2017, is content in his job.
The former Scotland international centre-back, whose career was cruelly cut short by injury, admitted: “There has been nothing said that would suggest Brendan isn’t going to be here.
“Brendan just gets on with his job. I remember the chat at some point last season was that if he got a second treble, an English team would come calling and he’d be gone.
“We’re getting to that point in the season again and these stories will surface in the run-in. From working with him, he’s in a very good place. He’s a terrific manager who will, hopefully, be successful again this season.
“His full focus is with Celtic and the way I see it he is preparing for next season, just as he did last year and the year before.”
Eight points clear at the top and preparing for this afternoon’s visit from Motherwell, Rodgers’ team are firm favourites to land an eighth consecutive crown.
TWO OF A KIND…Brendan Rodgers and coach John Kennedy prepare for action.
Should the manager see out the remainder of his contract with title-winning campaigns, he will guide the club to a new record of 10 in a row.
Kennedy acknowledged the surrounding hype and added: “The fans and the media will do that, but it would be careless for those of us on the inside to think too much about it.
“Firstly, we’ve got to win eight and then before 10 there is nine. You also want to be competing in Europe and competing for trophies. When you look so far ahead, you can trip yourself up in the short term.
“In the last two seasons, the manager’s message has been to get better game on game. That won’t change before the end of this season or even if we get closer to 10.
“Ultimately, yeah, we want to achieve it, too. But there’s a hell of a lot of work to be done first.”
* DON’T miss the unbeatable match report on Celtic v Motherwell this afternoon – only in your champion CQN.