No to McKenna, No to Ya Ya, Brendan Knows the Score with Agents

BRENDAN RODGERS has explained the reason why Celtic will NOT be signing any central defenders in this transfer window.

He has already revealed that Dedryck Boyata will NOT be allowed to leave in this window, meaning that in all likelihood the Belgium centre half will leave from free in the summer. Celtic have submitted a substantial offer to the player but his agent recently intervened to state that they were ‘not even talking’ to Celtic about a new deal.

So Boyata remains for now, will be away in the summer but will be a first pick for the rest of this season.

Beside him, again if fitness allows, will be Leicester City loanee Filip Benkovic. The Croatian has made some remarks that would suggest to the most optimistic of Celtic supporters that there might be a chance that he would like to make his move to Celtic a little longer term that it current stands, however this is football and money talks.

So while we cannot rule that out as a possibility that can be filed away under Summer Speculation for the moment. Benkovic will play alongside Boyata in The Celtic defence for the rest of this season.

Kristoffer Ajer will also be called upon and has the manager’s confidence so where would any new signing fit in? Brendan was yesterday asked by the Evening Times about the chances of signing a new central defender this month

“I think that will be very difficult to do that this month,” he replied.

“To be brutally honest, if we were to bring in someone of the quality we require they would want to play. There are positions we’ll look at but that is one where a couple of our key players will move on and will need to be replaced.

“Obviously, we have young Kris Ajer and Jozo Simunovic already here. It’s an area of the team we will find it tough to strengthen in January but it’s a must to do that in the summer.

“It’s a possibility that we will spend more in the next couple of weeks. We’ve brought in a couple of loans and a young boy with potential. I’m not sure – it’s down to availability and also to what’s affordable from the club’s perspective.

“But I think we’ll look to add to our squad. There are also a few lads we’ll be sending out on loan but there are still key areas we’ve been looking to strengthen over a period of time,” Brendan said.

So no Scott McKenna then, at least for now. and the Celtic manager also ruled out a move for Ya Ya Toure.

“We hope to do some more business if we can but there’s nothing to add to the speculation. Ya Ya Toure? Well, his brother’s here but he’s not one we’re looking at.

“Scott McTominay is a talented young player but there’s nothing to add to that and the same goes for James McCarthy. Agents will strategically throw out a name to stick in the papers but then I’ll get a call from them asking me if I’m interested in the player because they read that I was; you know the game.”

A BBC report down south earlier in the week linked McTominay to clubs in both England and Scotland and that was enough to introduce Celtic into the story. Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes has made an inquiry about the player so perhaps his club is where the Scottish interest is coming from?

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About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor, who has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email

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