Celtic to look for attacking reinforcements amid Asian Cup departures

Celtic could be without Maeda, Kyogo and Oh for a month if they are selected for their countries.

Brendan Rodgers admits he may be forced to look for attacking reinforcements in January to deal with several potential departures to the Asian Cup.

Celtic could be without the forward trio of Daizen Maeda, Hyengyu Oh and Kyogo Furuhashi if they are all selected for their country’s to take part in the tournament that will run from January 12 in Qatar.

So when the transfer window opens the manager insists that adding another striker to his squad could be the priority.

Speaking to the media on Friday he said: “We have been trying to anticipate the guys who will be going away to the Asia Cup, so clearly if Daizen, Kyogo and Oh are all away then we would have to do something in the market.”

The league leaders are preparing to take on Kilmarnock at the weekend in what will be their third game of nine in a 30 day period.

But Rodgers says that has to be expected at a big club, particularly at this time of year, and feels his squad have dealt well with a compact fixture list in the past and has every confidence in them doing so again.

He said: “It’s part of being at a big club, you’re going to get games, I think it’s the same for everyone over this period as well there is games compact, with very little rest of recovery in between.

“But we’ve known that, the players have coped well with it and we now look forward to our next game on Sunday and look to maintain that level.”

The trip to Rugby Park, and a return to their only domestic defeat on the campaign when they were knocked out of the League Cup, means a game on one of the two artificial surfaces in the Premiership.

And with recent reports saying the SPFL could be considering a ban on plastic pitches in the top-flight, Rodgers reckons such a move would be for the best.

He said: “It’s a constant conversation, it’s clear that every coach I’m pretty sure would like to play on a grass pitch on every game.

“So I think the sooner that is a possibility for everyone up here then it will be for the better for everyone, I understand the economics of it all and what it will mean for some clubs, but I feel there should be a certain level and a certain standard in that every team who is playing in the top flight should have a grass pitch.”

Celtic will travel to Ayrshire to take on Derek McInnes’ side in Sunday’s lunchtime kick-off.

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