Brendan Rodgers believes securing the services of Craig Gordon on a new contract will represent his best signing yet as Celtic manager.
Gordon kept another clean sheet last night as the Scottish champions beat Aberdeen 1-0 at Celtic Park to stretch their lead at the top of the Premiership table to 25 points.
The 34-year-old remained at the club despite efforts from Chelsea to prise him away before the January window closed on Tuesday. Rodgers reiterated that an improved new deal for Gordon, pictured, is now a priority.
“I’m very hopeful that we will tie him down very soon for longer,” said Rodgers. “That will be our best signing when it gets done. He is a huge player in terms of how I want the team to operate. I’m sure it was stressful for him but I think he will be delighted the window is shut. It’s difficult for Craig, because he isn’t built for all the stress. He’s just a big, calm, laid-back guy and I think all of this gets on his nerves a bit. But I have reassured him he is an absolutely massive part of what I am doing here.”
Rodgers was also satisfied to see Moussa Dembele stay at Celtic beyond the transfer deadline and reported positive news on the French striker’s knee injury which was assessed by a specialist in London on Tuesday, fuelling speculation over a possible Chelsea bid.
“We had to make sure our physio Tim Williamson didn’t lose sight of him down there!” laughed Rodgers. “The hospital he went to was in Chelsea, believe it or not. So we said to Tim to be like Franco Baresi and just stay tight to him!
“He has come back very positive. He got some fluid out of his knee and it had a good reaction. We will see how he is for the weekend.”
Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes was left frustrated by his team’s defeat to a Dedryck Boyata goal from a second-half set piece. “We are disappointed and angry we didn’t take something from the game,” said McInnes. “It wasn’t a free-kick. I thought it was at the time, but I’ve seen it again and it wasn’t.”