Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers admits star players face temptation

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers accepts there will always be suitors for Kieran Tierney. Picture: SNS.
Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers accepts there will always be suitors for Kieran Tierney. Picture: SNS.
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When Kieran Tierney signed a new, six-year contract last season, his only complaint was that the extension was not for a longer period.

Yet his consistently excellent displays for club and country have inevitably led to him being on the radar of English clubs, with Manchester United and, less plausibly, Bournemouth the latest to be monitoring his progress.

Tom Boyd, the club’s treble-winning captain in 2001, recently claimed that Tierney would follow in the footsteps of Paul McStay by becoming a one-club man while others believe the lure of English lucre will prove to be too strong. His manager, Brendan Rodgers, right, declined to speculate.

“I don’t want to say either/or, really,” he said. “The time when players were not for sale is long gone. The kid’s signed a long-term deal and you can see the happiness he has here. Having been at the club, there’s something natural that can happen here. But if a player is on X amount of money and he’s offered 5X by someone else and the club also has a big offer to consider then it’s something that will be spoken about.

“Kieran, because of his age and his talent, is always going to be linked with other clubs. There will be suitors watching him but he’s content to be here and last weekend was his best performance against Rangers for me. He played with composure and calmness and you can see he’s maturing all the time. Everyone would rather he stayed but it’s not all down to Celtic.

“This is his life and he loves being here. His mum and dad are Celtic daft but it is a short career and you have to be mindful of that. I hear about players from times gone by and about the great loyalty they showed to the club and what service they gave. Then I’m told how they’re now struggling, financially.

“So you have to consider that aspect, especially when there is a limit as to how far your club can push. We’re in an era where not only Scottish football can’t compete with the wages [in] the Premier League – Italy and Germany can’t either.”

Midfielders Tom Rogic and Stuart Armstrong are about to enter the final years of their contracts but Rodgers is just as sanguine about their situations.

“They’ve all seen what being here can bring but you also have to accept that they have to think about the next step in their career, whether it’s financial or personal,” he added.

“Of course, I want to keep players and look to bring in others. So I’m relaxed about it but that’s not to say I’m happy for anyone to leave.”