Brendan Rodgers vows to keep Gary Mackay-Steven and Nir Bitton

Brendan Rodgers doesn't want to see Gary Mackay-Steven leave.
Brendan Rodgers doesn't want to see Gary Mackay-Steven leave.
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Brendan Rodgers wants Gary Mackay-Steven and Nir Bitton, who have been linked with moves away, to remain at Celtic Park, while Kieran Tierney has recovered from injury.

Rodgers stressed that he is keen to keep winger Gary Mackay-Steven - linked with a loan move back to Dundee United - and Israeli midfielder Nir Bitton, who has also been on the fringes.

The Parkhead boss said: “I have a number of offers for Gary to go out but he is not one that I see going out.

“He is a very important member of our squad here and in the second half of the season we want to be better so I don’t really want to be losing any players like Gary.

“Nir has worked very hard in training and looked very good and not one that we want to lose. We haven’t had anything for him and I am happy with that as he is a very important member of our squad.”

Rodgers was also pleased to have 19-year-old left-back Kieran Tierney, reportedly interesting Manchester United, fully fit again after being out since October with ankle ligament damage.

He said: “The most important thing for Kieran was getting back fit and for us it is like having a new signing.

“He is back training and he played in a practice game and he looked fantastic. The time out allowed him to repair his shoulder and obviously the issue with his ankle and get himself that bit stronger and now he will be firing and ready for the rest of the season.”

Rodgers confirmed that Kris Commons had returned from his loan spell at Hibernian.

The 33-year-old made five appearances and scored two goals for the Championship side and Hibs boss Neil Lennon was quoted as saying he would like to have kept the forward for the rest of the season.

Rodgers said: “Kris has been back training with us. Nothing new to report, he went out and it looks like he did very well for Neil and Hibs.

“I believe that Hibs would like to keep him but Kris has to have a think because it is not just about the next six months, it is about the next few years so everything has to be right for him.”

Rodgers revealed that 19-year-old midfielder Kouassi Eboue, a £2.8million signing from Russian side Kuban Krasnodar, will not be available for Sunday.

He said: “No, he won’t be in the squad. His visa has just been granted. It is a case of him coming here but it won’t be for the weekend.”