Rodgers rules out £15m buy as he looks to improve treble-winning squad

Celtic are still looking to improve their trophy winning side but won't break the bank to do so.

Brendan Rodgers still looking to improve Celtic squad but rules out big fees SNS Group

Brendan Rodgers has ruled out breaking the £15m barrier on a single signing as Celtic continue their hunt for more new players.

The Scottish champions have been linked with big money moves for the likes of Scotland star Scott McTominay and Croatia goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic but the manager insists they won’t break the bank to improve their treble winning squad.

Portuguese winger Jota left the club for Saudi Arabian side Al-Ittihad in a £25m move that equalled the biggest ever sale for any Scottish club and the club have seen record profits come into the coffers from continued domestic success and their participation at Europe’s top table.

They were also recently named among the top 50 most valuable clubs in world football with only two sides outside the top five league listed higher.

All of this combined had led to suggestions that they would be ready to spend big in the transfer market this summer.

However, Rodgers poured cold water on any hopes they would be spending the Jota money on a single transfer as he looks to continue the lucrative player trading model of bringing in younger players with a potentially big sell on fee.

The Hoops have already signed five players since Rodgers returned – Norwegian midfielder Odin Thiago Holm, Australian winger Marco Tilio and South Korean pair Yang Hyun-jun and Kwon Hyeok-kyu joining Poland Under-21 defender Maik Nawrocki.

Their record signing remains Odsonne Edouard who joined the club for £9m during Rodgers’ first spell in charge.

And the Northern Irishman is still on the hunt for talented players who will improve the team with just over a month left of the transfer window.

And with automatic entry to the Champions League group stages again this season, they are in no major rush and will wait until the right player is available at the right price.

Speaking to Sky Sports News, Rodgers said: “I think everyone looks and thinks that we might be bringing in a £15-20m player. The reality is that won’t be the case. It’s not what the club is based on.

“But that doesn’t mean there’s not talented players out there that we want.

“There is still quite a way to go in the window so we will look to improve the squad again.

“We have done a lot of early business which has been great, it allows the players to come in and settle, and of course we want to do some more. But I am quite calm on that.”

Celtic have continued their focus on the Asian transfer market after achieving success on that front during Ange Postecoglou’s reign, and Rodgers is happy to trust the recruitment staff.

“I will work with the club on that. Mark Lawwell, who has headed up the recruitment team here, has done a fantastic job,” said Rodgers, whose team begin their Premiership title defence at home to Ross County on Saturday.

“It’s a market he knows really, really well from his previous job so he understands the players.

“But he has also got a very good team of people behind him. So I trust in their work.

“Of course they will always be put forward to me and I will have a look at it.

“Some of those players were identified before I came in so it was about giving the blessing, and some of them have been identified whilst we have been in. So it’s a continuation of working together, which is important.

“Part of coming back, I know where the club is at, I know the model that’s in place, and we hope we can maximise that and develop the players on the field.”

Ahead of Celtic’s final pre-season game against Athletic Bilbao on Tuesday, Rodgers stated that he would “always” offer suggestions of his own when discussing targets.

But he added: “It has to fit into the model of the club. And as a manager in the modern game it’s very difficult to do what you maybe did years ago and be out watching players every night of the week. The game has changed.

“So you are really relying on your recruitment team.

“You won’t get absolutely every one right and that’s purely on the basis of players maybe not adapting to a country.

“But there is a lot of great work done here, a really comprehensive structure that is in place to try and mitigate as many of those circumstances as we can and allow players to come in and really flourish in an environment which is made for development.”

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