BRENDAN Rodgers last night hailed Scott Brown as one of the greatest captains in Celtic’s history and revealed he has spoken to the midfielder about signing a contract extension.

Brown’s current deal with the Parkhead club, who he skippered to only the fourth domestic treble in their 129 year existence last season, expires at the end of the 2017/18 campaign.

Rodgers believes the 32-year-old Scotland internationalist, set to be honoured with a testimonial after spending 10 years in the East End of Glasgow, can play on at the highest level for several more years.

“He’s someone I want here while I’m here, that’s for sure,” he said from the Scottish champions pre-season training base in Berhausl, Austria. “He’s a remarkable player who will go down as one of the greatest captains in the history of this club.

“He’s done it over the course of 10 years here, but what he did last season puts him alongside the greatest captains.

“He’s still hungry and driven to keep winning and performing. You see the level he’s at. He’s turned 32 but is coming in to an exciting period in his career.

“He’s definitely someone I’ll be looking to do something win. He and I have talked about it a few times.

“There’s been games and the close season, but I’m sure it’s something we’ll look at. He’ll be around for another few years just yet.”

Brown, signed from Hibernian for £4.4 million by former Celtic manager Gordon Strachan back in 2007, revealed back in January that he was in talks with Parkhead chief executive Peter Lawwell about a testimonial.

Rodgers - whose side take on their old adversaries Rapid Vienna, who they lost to in a hugely controversial European Cup Winners’ Cup tie back 1984, in Amstetten here this evening in their second pre-season friendly – believes that would be a fitting tribute.

“I’m sure that will be a part of the negotiations,” he said. “I mean, my goodness me, to play for a club like Celtic for that length of time, and to survive in that environment, with its intensity and the pressures on you, as he has done for those number of years, is remarkable.

“So I think that (a testimonial) will all come into it. He has been a truly inspirational player, and a brilliant player, as well as the club captain.”

Celtic completed the signing of Kundai Benyu, the 19-year-old Ipswich Town midfielder who played for English National League club Aldershot Town last season and has been involved with the Zimbabwe national team in the past.

Rodgers, who stressed the teenager is one for the future and will probably not feature in his first teams, feels that he only needs to add one more quality player to his group before the Champions League qualifiers get underway later this month.

“I didn’t think the group needed surgery,” he said. “We didn’t need to go out and get a whole raft of players. The club didn’t need that.

“The club invested in some players in the last few years who have shown within the environment and the coaching that they have improved.

“I look at them and think: ‘Okay they can improve even more’. Because what they’ve achieved last year is going to give them real confidence to kick on.

“But, as always, I felt there were a few areas where we needed to bring someone in.

“We got the best player outside of Celtic in Jonny Hayes. In my time he was the one player I always had in the back of my mind could hurt us.

“In every game he showed his pace, his power. He scored 11 goals and had 24 assists. Knowing Jonny as a kid I knew the impact he could have.

“Pat going back to Man City meant I needed to have Scotty, James and one other. If something opens up later on for Pat to come back, or someone else to come in, then fine. But certainly I am probably looking at one other to come in.

“We need that stability to get us through the Champions League and my experience of English football is that teams are not even in down south. Managers are still lying on a beach throughout Europe.

“I am going to take some young players away on pre-season with me and it might take until the middle of July before I even consider what my squad is going to be.

“I only want to bring in quality. I can go on bringing in a lot of players, but I don’t need them.”

Rodgers handed game time to youngsters Jack Aitchison, Conor Hazard, Jamie McCart, Calvin Miller and Anthony Ralston in the friendly against Blau-Weiss Linz on Wednesday night and confirmed he is keen to bring through more kids in the coming months.

“I want to develop these players more this year as well as bring and then develop some of the young players like Michael Johnston or Anthony Ralston,” he said. “These boys will come up into the squad.”