Ange Postecoglou: 'Celtic haven't received bids for any players'

Josip Juranovic and Stephen Welsh have been linked with January moves away from the club.

Ange Postecoglou says Celtic haven’t had transfer bids for any of their players SNS Group

Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou says the club haven’t received offers for any of their players ahead of the January transfer window opening.

Eye-catching performances for Croatia in the World Cup have seen right back Josip Juranovic linked with a number of clubs, with the latest reports suggesting Barcelona may have an interest in the player.

Centre-back Stephen Welsh has also been at the centre of speculation, with the arrival of Yuki Kobayashi further increasing competition in that area of the team.

Postecoglou was adamant that there were no firm bids on the table for anyone at the moment and, if interest was to be made known, there was a process to be followed.

“We haven’t had an offer for any player,” he said. “If there’s an issue or if players have things put in front of them about their future, I’m sure they will come and see me, and (chief executive) Michael (Nicholson) will speak to their representatives.

“But right now there is nothing. Zero. Zip. Nada. Nothing going on.”

Celtic face Livingston on Wednesday night hoping to keep their lead at the top of the Premiership table and Postecoglou will have Sead Haksabanovic available for selection.

The attacker, who was named as Premiership player of the month for November, missed last weekend’s win over Aberdeen but could be involved at Celtic Park.

“Sead’s back and everyone came through the weekend well,” Postecoglou said.

“James McCarthy is still out and Welshy is probably a couple of weeks away. Josip is away. He has got a week off and will be back training early next week and ready to go.”

Ahead of the match, the Celtic boss was asked if he was expecting Livingston to sit in and frustrate his side, having seen Aberdeen manager Jim Goodwin take criticism for a defensive approach last week.

Goodwin had explain his thinking had partly been shaped by a defeat to Rangers earlier in the season.

Postecoglou had no complaints about how opposition managers tackle his side but was bemused by a tendency to treat Celtic and Rangers as if they were the same team.

“I assume Jim set up his team to try and get a result against us and every manager tries to do that,” he said.

“The curious thing I find, and it’s more to do with language than anything else – and it’s driven I guess a little bit by you guys in the media – but also I hear opposition coaches and opposition players before we play them, they can’t seem to differentiate between us and Rangers at all.

“It’s almost like ‘when you play the top two, this is what happens’. Some of them even talk about it as if it’s an excursion. ‘You go through to Glasgow and this is what you expect’.

“I don’t get that, because if I referred to all the other teams apart from Rangers as ‘the other 10’, and that ‘when we play the other 10, this is what happens’, I’m not paying respect to the fact that Livingston are going to be a different challenge on Wednesday to St Johnstone at the weekend.

“Even though they may play defensively, different ways they do that. Playing at home is different to playing away.

“So we approach every game as if it’s a jumps race – you respect every hurdle. Just because you are a few lengths in front, you don’t walk around and not worry about the next one.

“That’s a bit I find sort of curious because if people are assuming if something works or doesn’t work against Rangers, that’s a reflection of how it’s going to be, we are totally different teams.

“From my perspective, it kind of works in our favour if that’s how opposition coaches talk. I don’t think they think that way.

“But they talk that way and also, putting it in a historical context, it just makes the task seem insurmountable. Because you go ‘when you play the top two, this has always happened’.

“Well, you are not playing the top two, you are playing Rangers, or you are playing Celtic, and you are playing at home, or maybe they have injuries or they had a bad week the week before.

“Maybe managers and some players fall into the trap of answering questions because that’s the way it’s put to them, but that’s what I sort of struggle with. Not the tactics, we all have our own methodology.”

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