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Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers plays down links to Leicester

Wanted man: Brendan Rodgers
Wanted man: Brendan Rodgers

Brendan Rodgers stressed his focus remains on Celtic amid speculation about interest from Leicester City.

Reports this week claimed the Northern Irishman has been lined up by the Premiership outfit to replace Claude Puel if the Frenchman is sacked.

However, speaking at Celtic's Lennoxtown training complex before the Hoops' William Hill Scottish Cup clash with Airdrie at Parkhead on Saturday, Rodgers said: "Someone mentioned it to me yesterday.

"It is the time of the year where you get players and managers get linked with clubs and whatnot.

"For me, my only concentration is here at Celtic.

"Leicester as we have seen over the last few years, an incredible journey that they have been on as a club and obviously the unfortunate circumstances (owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha's death in a helicopter crash) that they had earlier this season.

"It is a fantastic club but for me at this moment in time my concentration is purely on Celtic and looking forward to the second part of this season."

Rodgers has strengthened his squad for the second part of the season with Scotland international Oliver Burke, on loan from West Brom, USA international Timothy Weah, on loan from Paris Saint-Germain, and Ivory Coast's Vakoun Issouf Bayo, signed from Dunajska Streda.

The former Liverpool boss said: "Oliver and Timothy joined us in Dubai (in winter break) and it's great for them to bond with the players on the field and off the pitch.

"That's proved invaluable for us. They've both settled in very well.

"Young Bayo is still going through his paperwork process, and will hopefully join us later in the week.

"It's great to have them on board, all three young talents with very big potential and it'll be great to nurture that over the next six months."

Rodgers revealed that some fringe players like 27-year-old midfielder Scott Allan, who was on loan to Hibernian last season, and 22-year-old attacker Lewis Morgan, who signed a four-and-a-half-year deal from St Mirren in January 2018, are likely to move out to get game time.

He said: "There will be movement both ways towards the end of the window. We've got a big squad, and there will be players that go out to find game time.

"Scott Allan has been unfortunate for his time here. He's a player that I've really liked.

"Unfortunately, when he was out on loan, he did very well as did we when he was out.

"He came back in the summer after two seasons of success (for Celtic).

"It's been very difficult for him to break in, nothing to do with his training, his attitude has been first-class.

"He is at the age now where he just wants to play football. There has been some inquires about him. Same with Lewis and a number of other players.

"So I have spoken to them about game time and it is something that might happen over the next couple of weeks."

PA

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