BRENDAN RODGERS has also ready stated he will be working overtime in the January transfer window to bring in recruits – either permanent or on loan – as he looks to strengthen his squad for the rigours of 2024.

The Celtic manager has also revealed he is relaxed about players who may be looking to leave the club while he concentrates on achieving the team’s twelfth title in13 years and eaning another crack at the Champions League.

David Turnbull is coming out of contract at the end of the season and talks have stalled between the player and the Parkhead bosses.

IN WITH A SHOUT…Brendan Rodgers encourages his Celtic players from the touchline.

The Scotland international midfielder, bought by Neil Lennon from Motherwell in August 2020, kicked off the campaign as first pick and scored a double in the 4-2 win over Ross County at Parkhead in the Premiership opener on August 5.

However, the 24-year-old has drifted from the picture in recent weeks and only made an appearance in the crucial match against Lazio in Rome on Tuesday as an 86th minute substitute with the visitors already trailing by two goals.

It could be that Turnbull’s days as a Celt are already numbered, as CQN stated earlier in the week.

Rodgers remains philosophical about the situation and says: “If a player doesn’t want to sign then he doesn’t want to sign. I won’t lose sleep over it.

“There were talks back in the summer and I’m not sure how far they’ve gone, but, clearly, they’ve not gone as well as David or maybe his representative have wanted.

“Either way, he’s at that stage of his contract where he can choose what he wants to do and decide whether his prospects are better elsewhere. But while he’s here and committed, working and running, he’ll always be a valuable asset.”

Reflecting on players rejecting deals, the Hoops gaffer, speaking to The Herald, added: “As a younger coach, I probably took it very personally.

HIGHLAND FLING…David Turnbull celebrates the opening goal in the 3-0 win over Ross County in Dingwall last month. Paulo Bernardo joins in with Anthony Ralston and Daizen Maeda.

“If a player didn’t want to stay I thought it was about me. Now I know that it’s about players having short careers.

“This is an amazing club to be at. We’ll improve you as a player, you’ll make good money and win titles, but if they feel the need to move on then they go.

“It’s the modern game. You adapt, get on with it and find your way again.”

In the absence of the injured Reo Hatate, on-loan Portuguese playmaker Paulo Bernardo has been getting the recent nod from Rodgers and that may be the case again in today’s High Noon showdown with St Johnstone in Perth.

* DON’T miss the unbeatable match report from St Johnstone v Celtic this afternoon – only in your champion CQN.


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