Rodgers in­sists no play­ers will leave Celtic

The Herald - Herald Sport - - FRONT PAGE - GRAEME MACPHERSON

BRENDAN RODGERS, the Celtic man­ager, has made clear no first-team player would be leav­ing the club on dead­line day de­spite Chelsea’s in­ter­est in Craig Gor­don and Moussa Dem­bele and spec­u­la­tion link­ing Erik Svi­tachenko with Le­ices­ter City.

Rodgers re­vealed that he ex­pects only Nadir Ciftci to move on, with Efe Am­brose, Kris Com­mons and Nir Bit­ton all likely to stay at the club bar­ring any un­ex­pected late de­vel­op­ments. The North­ern Ir­ish­man also does not fore­see adding to his squad be­fore the win­dow closes at mid­night.

Rodgers ex­pressed his sur­prise at news of an im­proved of­fer for Gor­don but cat­e­gor­i­cally re­futed any no­tion that his goal­keeper could leave, “guar­an­tee­ing” Gor­don would be in the Celtic team to face Aberdeen tomorrow night. “If there’s an­other bid you know more than me,” he said. “For me it’s al­ways been clear. Craig will be here, he will be in goal on Wed­nes­day night and we want to get him signed up on a new deal, sim­ple as that.”

Svi­atchenko, mean­while, has emerged as a tar­get for Le­ices­ter and a num­ber of other English clubs.

“There are two parts to it. You can only speak to some­one if an­other club meets a val­u­a­tion of what a player is maybe worth. You don’t willy-nilly let a player go and talk to them. It doesn’t work like that. But the stance is the same. We don’t want to lose him.

“I’ve been brought in to lead the club, look af­ter the football side, and help man­age the club. So my job is to pro­tect the club and to build the best team I pos­si­bly can and that means keep­ing Craig Gor­don. Craig will be in goal on Wed­nes­day night, I guar­an­tee you.”

Rodgers does not ex­pect much in the way of late trans­fer ac­tiv­ity, with Chelsea hav­ing been told that only a bid of £40m-plus would be con­sid­ered for Dem­bele ( b elow ) . “We’re in tot al con­trol. There’s no dr ama . I don’t think we’ll get in what we want to get in. But we’ve got a great squad of play­ers here.”

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