MIKAEL Lustig has urged ambitious players across the continent to consider joining Celtic this summer, because "for the first time in three or four years" they are in a position to keep hold of their best players and build from a position of strength. As much as the 30-year-old Swede has enjoyed his five years in the Scottish game, one persistent bugbear has been the club periodically being forced into rebuilding mode after seeing their best talents such as Victor Wanyama, Fraser Forster and Virgil van Dijk sold to big clubs in England.

The arrival of Brendan Rodgers last summer, though, has co-incided with a raising of the club's horizons, with the likes of Scott Sinclair and Moussa Dembele being attracted to the Scottish game in a bid to make genuine inroads into the Champions League. Lustig, rewarded for a fine season with a contract which runs through to 2019, is excited to see the calibre of players which the club can attract this summer, with a bid for Aberdeen's Jonny Hayes only likely to be the start. Patrick Roberts, who has returned to Manchester City following his loan spell, is the only one of this season's starting XI not currently under contract for next year.

“Everyone knows what Celtic is all about – 60,000 every game and aiming to win trophies," said Lustig. "If you’re an ambitious player then come to Celtic.

“This is the happiest I’ve been since coming here," he added. "To have the feeling that we can keep the best players and also bring in better players to the club is good. That’s the first time in three or four years.

"We have had good seasons but then the best players have gone south and we replace them with players from the Scottish league. Okay, Stuart [Armstrong] has been brilliant but to get Moussa and Scotty from England helps. They have made a really big impact. To be part of this club right now is really good. The players here have done brilliantly and any new player has to prove they want to work and play here.”