BRENDAN Rodgers is hoping to strengthen his Celtic squad in the coming days - by signing 20-year-old Chelsea playmaker Charly Musonda

Rodgers has admitted that he would like to add a No.10 who has the ability to unlock defences and excite supporters and is prepared to pay “big money” to get him.

The Northern Irishman declined to confirm that Belgian youth internationalist Musonda is the player he is on the brink of landing after a pre-season friendly with Rapid Vienna here in Austria last night.

However, it is believed the former Anderlecht kid, who spent last year on loan at La Liga club Real Betis in Spain, is the attacking midfielder that he is closing in on.

Musonda, who has played for his country at every age group level from under-15 to under-21, would cost in the region of £5 million. “He is a very good player,” said Rodgers

The Celtic manager has only made two signings during the close season – winger Jonny Hayes has arrived from Aberdeen in a £1.3 million deal and teenage Ipswich midfielder Kundai Benyu was also added to the Parkhead squad this week.

The 44-year-old, whose side went undefeated domestically in the 2016/17 campaign and lifted the Betfred Cup, Ladbrokes Premiership and William Hill Scottish Cup, is content with the strength and depth of his squad.

However, the former Liverpool boss has confirmed that he is looking to make one more acquisition in the near future and it looks as if that is going to be Musonda.

“We have players who can play there (at No.10), but it’s about getting pace and power and also another one that can make the last pass,” said Rodgers.

“I felt that was something from last season that I wanted to add. We are hopeful we can get that. Good money will be spent on him. The money is there.

“Having someone of that ability, it’s how the make-up of my teams has always been. Look at Liverpool with (Daniel) Sturridge, (Luis) Suarez and (Philippe) Coutinho.

“I like bright, clever players who can disorganise defenders. They can attack, but also need to have the profile to press too.

“If we can close the deal out on it. Celtic have been great in trying to make it happen. If it happens it will be a great level of high level quality. The player I’m talking about is of a substantial pedigree and quality. There’s no timescale or percentage on it. When it’s done it’s done.”

Rodgers added: “Going into this pre-season the players are very clear on how we work and play. We have only really lost young Pat (Roberts) and Jonny is a great replacement, if not like for like. All the other boys will be attuned to how we work.

“My main aim is quality, we don’t need numbers. But I’m very pleased with where the team is at. We are looking to add quality. The players will improve this year and that will also happen through bringing in players of genuine quality.”

Meanwhile, Rodgers stated that players who are not featuring regularly in the Celtic first team are likely to leave – but no key member of his squad will be offloaded before the end of their Champions League qualifying campaign.

Moussa Dembele, the French striker who has recovered from the hamstring strain which ruled him out of the final games of last season, has been persistently linked with moves to the Barclays Premier League, with Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United all reported to be interested.

“Moussa is very content and happy,” he said. “He looks very fit and hasn’t had a long lay-off. He went away with France Under-21s. He is someone of great character. He is very stable, nothing affects him.

“Of course he is not a player we want to sell. Like all the players we want to keep him, but we know how football works and we will see what happens. But certainly not until after the Champions league qualifiers, there won’t be anything done before that. That goes for all the players.”

Dembele returned to action for Celtic in the pre-season meeting with Rapid Vienna in Amstetten last night when he came on as a second half substitute and netted a late penalty to earn a 1-1 draw.

“He has obviously been with the French Under-21 team,” he said. “He has been training and working and hasn’t had a lot of time off. He has come back in really good condition. He has been working hard and everyone is fighting for their place. You can see his composure for the penalty, but you can see his presence as well when he plays.”

Rodgers added: “I thought Jonny Hayes was excellent as well. You can see him working his way into it. His pace was very good. That is why we have brought him here. Those moments when you have to go up the pitch he has got that great quality of speed and control. We also had Tom Rogic coming back in. He was also outstanding.

“It was a pleasing performance. Importantly, most importantly at this stage, we got no injuries and we got a good level of fitness in the game as well.”