Manager wanted one more

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers admits he wanted a midfielder before the transfer window shut, but refused to sign someone just to add numbers when his top targets proved out of reach.

Celtic were linked with moves for Everton’s James McCarthy and West Brom and Scotland midfielder James Morrison this week but transfer deadline day passed without another addition to Rodgers’ squad.

The Celtic manager had brought in West Brom’s Cristian Gamboa the previous day to join earlier summer signings Moussa Dembele, Kolo Toure, Scott Sinclair and Dorus de Vries.

Rodgers told Celtic TV: “I wanted to bring another creative player into our midfield to support the players we had here but I’ll never bring in anyone just for the sake of bringing in a player. It has to be the right type of player and profile otherwise you waste time, money and energy.

“We brought in five players that can make a difference to the squad and can help the squad. We tried everything we could to get the right level of quality player in, but the players we wanted in just weren’t available to get and you can’t get a player if a club doesn’t want to sell him or loan him.

“But I’m more than happy with what we’ve got for now, the work we’ve done in this first window as a club has been very, very good and now gives us a chance to really focus and analyse on our recruitment with the recruitment team over the course of the coming months to maybe do something in January.

“But the players I have here – I’m absolutely delighted with their attitude and energy and they’re only going to improve now as we progress over the next few months.”

Costa Rica right-back Gamboa came in ahead of Saidy Janko’s loan move to Barnsley and Rodgers sees him as someone who will suit his style of play.

“He hasn’t played a lot recently for whatever reason but when he has played he has been very, very good,” Rodgers said.

“He’s a type of player I like. He is always on the front foot, super quick, aggressive in defending – he gets up to people, presses the game well. When he has the ball he can pass it very well.”

Another piece of business which nearly went through was Jozo Simunovic’s proposed move to Torino, but the clubs failed to agree a deal after the Croatian defender had a medical.

The 22-year-old has not played since suffering a knee injury in January but Rodgers will give him every chance to kick-start his Parkhead career.

“I haven’t seen a lot of Jozo so I don’t know his entire qualities but he is just coming back to fitness and trained a couple of times with the team, and I like what I see,” Rodgers said.

“He has obviously got a long way to go in terms of that physical fitness because he has been out for so long. But he is a young player who is very hungry, I like him as a boy.

“Obviously the move didn’t work out for him and for the club but maybe it was fate, maybe he is meant to be back here playing, working.

“We welcome him back with open arms and let’s see if he can produce good performances for Celtic.”

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