PATRICK ROBERTS has at most just ten games left as a Celtic player and then he returns to Manchester City and the simple task of forcing is way into Pep Guardiola’s squad.

Or is this the case? There was enough suggestion yesterday, and hopefully this isn’t reading too much between any lines, that there was at least a chance the winger could return to the club for next season.

Brendan Rodgers didn’t rule out q move, either permanent or a second loan, for the 20-year-old winger who has become a real favourite with the supporters for performances such as Sunday at Tynecastle when a brilliant pass set up a goal and then a wonderful finish got him on the scoresheet.

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Roberts, 20, cost Manchester City £12m last summer when he moved from Fulham and while they would struggle to recoup that kind of money for the Englishman, their fee might well be out of Rodgers’s price range.

But that could mean the player signing one more loan deal. Asked about the possibility of Roberts being at Parkhead next season, Rodgers said: “I wouldn’t say no chance. Again, he’s a young player that loves it here.

“He’s a Manchester City player and the agreement was 18 months. He’ll go back and he’ll want to fight to see if he can get into the Manchester City squad. They are one of superpowers now in terms of finance and squads in the game, so I’m sure he wants to go in and work with Pep Guardiola for a bit and see how all of that works out.

“And then over the course of pre-season, they’ll decide what happens. Is he going to stay and be around the squad, or does he need to go out on loan again. If he does, I’m sure this will be a really attractive option to him. It’ll just depend. Initially for the qualifiers, I doubt he’d be here.”

Rodgers dismissed the idea that any move for Roberts would have to be a loan deal.

He said: “No. He’s a very gifted and talented player. There is a long way to go before we would know what is happening on that front.

“He’s only spent six months at City before he’s come up here. This has been an amazing loan for him with the experience he has gained.

“He has become a winner here. He has become a man .He’ll go back thoroughly prepared to fight for a place in their squad. But if it’s not to be or his situations changes, I’m sure we’d be a great option for him.”

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Roberts himself admitted that he did not know where he would be playing his football next season, which meant he couldn’t say that a prolonged stay at Celtic Park was not a possibility.

He said: “I have enjoyed my time, I can’t say I haven’t. I have enjoyed every minute of playing on the pitch at Celtic Park and for the club. Listen, never say never or anything– but like I said, I will get to that when I get to it. I just have to think about the games we have ahead now.

“I have no idea what is going to happen. Football is a crazy game, I don’t know. I have always thought the time now, what I am doing in an hour’s time, what I am eating for lunch. I do not think what I am doing next year. I will come to that when I come to that.”

“My main objective is to play football every week. And wherever I can do that, that’s the most important thing for me. When that time comes to decide it will be the right moment. Right now I just want to enjoy being champions and obviously finish the season off strongly.”

No matter what happens, this has been a good move for Roberts. He hasn’t started every game but in his own words he will leave as a man; even if he still looks 14.

“Obviously you have to learn from difficult situation and I have had a few difficult situations here,” he said. “It is a massive squad and there are a lot of players and times can be tough but it’s all about how you deal with them at that moment.

“I feel I have matured in my game and you grow up a lot and you appreciate what it is to play on the park every weekend. Yes, I’ve grown up here as a player.

“I am only young, like any young player I just want to play football. I know all the money in football and all that, you obviously have to look after your football career. But I just want to play football, I love playing football and I love scoring goals. You can see that on the pitch. Wherever I am playing football I will be happiest.”