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Dublin: 7 °C Thursday 13 December, 2018

Rodgers set to trim 'bloated' Celtic squad in January

The Northern Irishman has eight players that have yet to play this campaign and seven more that have played limited minutes.

BRENDAN RODGERS IS ready to trim his ‘bloated’ Celtic squad in the January transfer window.

The Northern Irishman only signed one player in the summer – Odsonne Edouard from Paris Saint-Germain – but currently has 33 players at his disposal.

The former Liverpool manager admits that is too many and, despite denying claims it has led to a split in the dressing room, is poised to move some out.

“There’s no denying we’ve got too many players,” he told The Scotsman. “That’s something I said a way back in pre-season. 

“To really have a competitive squad is very, very important to push players and to extend the quality in which you can play. 

But we have too many players that either didn’t go out because they felt the need to stay at Celtic and play and some people that couldn’t get a club. So that has meant that our squad is very, very bloated.

“I think that when I came in here I mentioned that we had 29 in our squad plus goalkeepers which I felt was way too big to work on quality and now we’ve actually got more than that.”

Rodgers, 45, has eight players he has not used yet this season and seven more who have played fewer than 200 minutes in total.

He hopes some will take the opportunity to go out on loan and says the situation will ‘get better’ – but understands why some are reluctant to leave.

“I’ve got boys that are really, really respectful, good guys,” he added. “But there’s probably too many around the group in all fairness that aren’t playing and will have known that they’re not going to play. 

“What we will always try to do is respect the players choices and as long as you’re clear and players know where they stand, then really it’s about the desire and will of players to want to play football. 

“But once they’re Celtic players and once they sign you have to respect that and you have to work.”

Celtic currently sit third in the league, three points behind league-leaders Hearts through eight league matches.

- Omni

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