THE temptation to respond to the January transfer business conducted by Rangers and bring in a big name player must have been considerable at Celtic as first Steven Davis and then Jermain Defoe were signed on loan by the Ibrox club.

The Parkhead outfit are currently locked in the closest Scottish title race in years and a first Old Firm defeat under Brendan Rodgers at the end of last month has given their city rivals a definite psychological lift.

The arrival of Davis and Defoe, two high-profile acquisitions with extensive experience of both the English top flight and international football, has further increased the pressure on the defending champions.

Yet, Rodgers, who has added and Vakoun Issouf Bayo, Oliver Burke and Timothy Weah to his squad in the past few weeks, is quite content for the double treble winners to persist with their long-standing transfer policy and continue to put his faith in youth.

“The model at Celtic was long in place before I came,” he said. “There’s no surprise what Celtic will do. We’ll want to get young players in and increase their value and sell them on for big profit. That’s what the club does. My job as manager and coach of the team is to maximise what we can get out of the players.

“We brought in Kolo (Toure) in my first season and he did a great job for us to help us get into the Champions League. Then there was Marvin (Compper). But it’s always the idea to bring in that type of young player. That’s the model of the club. We’ve got talented players in the building here with the three boys who have come in.”

Not that Rodgers is suggesting that the route Rangers have taken – bringing in famous names who in the twilight of their careers - is ill-advised. “Listen, there’s no right or wrong,” he said. “You want a hungry player. If a player’s hungry at 31 or 18 then that’s what you want."

Burke, who West Brom paid RB Leipzig a Scottish record £15 million for at the start of last season, is outwith Celtic’s price range and is unlikely to move to Parkhead permanently at any point in the near future. But Rodgers also defended the use of loan players.

“First and foremost it probably allows you to get a player to the club you couldn’t afford to bring full-time,” he said. “Probably the club wouldn’t be able to afford to sign Oliver. But it allows you to bring him in, develop him, and that will help the club.

“Some people may look at it and think ‘well, you’re developing him for other clubs’. The positive intention of it is it is a player who could still do really well for you.

“If there is a possibility somewhere down the line, and he has enjoyed it and done well, like big Odsonne (Edouard, who joined from Paris Saint-Germain in the summer for a £9 million fee after impressing on loan last season), then there is maybe a possibility there. So it can work both ways.”

Charly Musonda was recalled from his 18 month loan deal early by his parent club Chelsea last year after failing to hold down a regular place in the Celtic first team. Rodgers stressed that neither Burke or Weah are guaranteed a start. “They come in with that understanding,” he said. “They are going to have to work to be involved, but they also know the rewards of being here.”

Rodgers was reluctant to let Moussa Dembele leave on the final day of the summer transfer window after Lyon tabled a £20 million bid due to the limited cover he had up front and only relented after the French forward took to social media and criticised the Celtic hierarchy.

The fact he had to field Mikey Johnston, a winger, up front against Rangers at Ibrox last month after Leigh Griffiths was ruled out and Edouard was unable to take his place in the starting line-up showed he was right to be concerned at the lack of strength in depth in attack.

Rodgers, though, is confident the arrival of Bayo, Burke and Weah has solved the problem. “Going into this window the club have done their best to address that,” he said. “Odsonne will be back soon and Oliver can play up there. Young Bayo coming in and showing potential is good.”

Compper, the former German internationalist who has made just one appearance since joining from Leipzig for £1 million last January, is one of the few established players Rodgers has bought since taking over at Celtic.

He revealed that Celtic are in discussions with his representatives about his situation and indicated he could be one of several players not currently featuring in the first team to move on before the January window closes.