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‘WE CAN DEAL IN EDOUARD,’ RODGERS

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BRENDAN RODGERS admitted Celtic have a “very, very good” chance of keeping Odsonne Edouard on a permanent deal.

The 20-year-old French striker, whose loan deal from Paris Saint-Germain expires at the end of next month, netted the opening two goals against a soundly-thrashed Ibrox outfit in the champions’ 5-0 triumph.

A fee of £7million has been mentioned which would be a Hoops record transfer, but Rodgers remains confident a deal can be done in the summer.

The Parkhead boss said: “A very, very good chance, hopefully. He wants to be here. It will be a case of getting an agreement with his club. We will finish the season and then see where we are with that.

“He’s a brilliant player. I think some were questioning his ability when he first came, but this is a player who was brought in for a reason.

“Odsonne is 20, he has everything – and I mean everything. Pace, power, you see his strength and his ability with the ball at his feet.

“He’s got a natural brain for football. He comes into the space, he can play off the sides. He has become really physical this season as it’s gone on. He has adapted into how we play with the physicality of the game.

“His two goals and his link-up play were absolutely sensational for a young guy in that type of environment.

“I’ve got Leigh Griffiths there as well, but I felt that with Rangers probably wanting to come and press us, that if we wanted to go over the top of the press, then Odsonne has the physical strength to hold it and break the line. He is super quick. That worked well for us.

“There were a lot of good contributions all round, but I was delighted for him to come into a game of that magnitude and play that well.”

There was a feeling the Hoops could have gone for seven goals to eclipse the 7-1 League Cup Final win in 1957 over Rangers.

Rodgers said: “We should have had seven, but, like I say, we’ll take five.

“The performance was outstanding, if you think about what the players put into the game. This title this year is definitely better than last, even though we went unbeaten last year. I think probably when I came in last year there was expectation, of course.”

Rodgers also revealed after the game that there were a number of players who had struggled with a virus in the build-up to the game.

He added: “Scott Brown has been suffering and Mikael Lustig has been taking tablets for a broken toe. That’s the drive they have. That’s always important, to have players who can find a way.

“You see a lot of modern-day footballers, if they hurt their fingernails, they pull out. So, it’s about having the right types, the right profile of player, guys who give their best and give everything. We have that here.”

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