BRENDAN RODGERS admitted Celtic could have signed NINE players already in this transfer window.

But the Hoops boss insisted it’s all about being patient in his quest to strengthen the squad ahead of the Premiership kick-off against Kilmarnock on Sunday August 4.

Rodgers, who saw his side draw 1-1 with Scott Brown’s Ayr United at Somerset Park in a brisk work-out last night, is adamant he won’t be rushed into bringing in recruits just to swell the numbers.

The 51-year-old gaffer said: “We could have had nine players in by now if we wanted, but it’s all about the right players we want.

FRESH AYR…Brendan Rodgers took the opportunity to bring in some youngsters in the 1-1 draw with Scott Brown’s Championship side at Somerset Park.

“There’s no point in us doing anything other than that and sometimes that takes a little bit of patience. In the world nowadays, where everything’s immediate, everyone thinks you can do it straight away, but it’s not always the case.

“There’s always a collaboration between ourselves and another club to get the players we want, but I’m very hopeful that, come the end of the window, we’ll have a really strong squad and be ready and prepared for an exciting season.

“There’s lots of time. Of course, we would want to get them in sooner rather than later. But it’s always a two-way thing.”

Rodgers, who is seeking to have new faces in his travelling party when the champions head for the three-game tour of America a fortnight today, continued: “That’s the plan. I think every manager would like them in on the first day, but what’s most important is the players we want are targeted.

“We know what we want to bring in to improve the squad and I’m sure over the coming weeks we’ll conclude the deals.”

Rodgers, though, refused to elaborate on the ongoing situation regarding Adam Idah with reports an initial bid of around £4.5million had been rejected for the Republic of Ireland international striker who netted nine goals – including the Scottish Cup winner – in 19 appearances during his short-term loan.

MAKING A POINT…Oh Hyeon-gyu has something to say in the match against Ayr United.

The Hoops boss, speaking to the Daily Record, commented: “Adam’s a Norwich player, so I’m not in the mood to be talking about other players at other clubs.

“But he’s a player who came in here, did exceptionally well, and we’ll see what happens.”

Benfica playmaker Paulo Bernardo, who spent the entire campaign at Parkhead, is valued around the £6.3million mark by the Lison giants and he falls into the same category as Idah.

Oh Hyeon-gyu came on as a half-time substitute at Somerset Park where Kyogo Furuhashi netted the visitors’ goal via the penalty spot before the Championship side levelled with another effort from the spot.

The South Korean striker has been linked with a £4million switch to Belgian outfit Genk and Rodgers admitted: “There’s some interest in Oh, so we’ll assess that as a club and then just manage that.

“But you see against Ayr, his attitude is great. Let’s see what the coming days bring on that one.”

GAME OVER…Maik Nawrocki comes off early in the pre-season work-out.

Rocco Vata left the double winners at the end of his contract as he signed a four-year deal at Watford, but Rodgers took the opportunity to offer outings to several youngsters against former skipper Brown’s team and said: “The No.1 objective was about fitness and getting some minutes into the legs.

“That was good. It was a really good night.”

Polish defender Maik Nawrocki limped off early in the friendly and the boss added: “He felt a little something in his calf, so we’ll just have to see what that is.

“Liam Scales will come into the fold for the game next week. Gus Lagerbielke had a twist on his ankle and knee in training so he’s probably going to be a week out.

“Matt O’Riley is back in, a few of the other guys have started to drip feed in, so they’ll come into the game against Queen’s Park on Wednesday.”

TEAM: Bain; Dede, Welsh, Nawrocki, Kobayashi; Iwata, Ure, Holm; Kuhn, Kyogo, Kyle. Subs: Oluwayemi, Clarke, Yang, Oh, Kwon, Lawal, Frame, Murray, Agbaire, Bonnar, Donovan and Hatton.

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