HAVING brought in Gylfi Sigurdsson on loan during his time at Swansea City and signed Philippe Coutinho and Daniel Sturridge when he was in charge at Liverpool, Brendan Rodgers knows it is foolish to, as many do, dismiss the January transfer window.

The Celtic manager believes that clubs can conduct significant business this month and has, along with his scouting team and senior officials at Parkhead, been working hard to strengthen his squad.

But the significant challenges the Scottish champions, who are keen to land a top class centre half and right back, face in the modern market have been driven home to the Northern Irishman in the past four weeks.

“The climate and the financial side of the game elsewhere, in Europe and down south in both the Premier League and Championship, is making it really difficult,” he said. “You get Championship clubs who will pay players £50,000 a week. That’s impossible for us to compete with.

“I don’t know money. I’ve got a little bit, but I don’t know that much about it. There are better experts than me here on that. You find the player and, whether fair or not, I’m not saying it goes to Peter (Celtic chief executive Lawwell) and then he doesn’t do it. That’s not really the case. But sometimes it changes from an agent’s perspective or a club’s perspective.

“You’ve maybe agreed on something initially and then it changes. It’s a whole, difficult, complex dynamic. But it’s about trying to find the players you can bring in. That’s always the challenge.

“You learn to try and have patience in the window when you can. At the same time, you want to push to progress."

Rodgers added: “If I look back at my time as a manager, I had a really good window in January at Watford. At Swansea, I brought in Gylfi Sigurdsson the next January.

“At Liverpool, they got Luis Suarez in the January before I arrived and I got Sturridge and Coutinho in a January window. We had our eyes on those players for a while and were able to complete the deals.

“I’ve always tried to be philosophical about it without getting too dragged down by it. I go back to the players you can afford to bring in and trying to make them better.”

Despite his occasional exasperation at the predicament Celtic are in, Rodgers acknowledges the approach that the Parkhead club take to their transfer dealings is correct and one they are right to persevere with. It is certainly difficult to argue with the results it has produced.

The double treble winners have won all seven trophies they have competed for in Scotland under the former Swansea City and Liverpool manager, have qualified for the Champions League group stages twice and made it through to the knockout rounds of the Europa League on the same number of occasions.

But off the pitch, their performance has been every bit as impressive. The sale of players like Virgil van Dijk and Moussa Dembele for multi-million pound sums has ensured they have avoided the serious money problems that others have encountered in the modern era.

“If you look at a lot of the players here, they have become better players and got improved contracts,” said Rodgers. “They get paid better. That’s brilliant for them and the club because they keep improving.

“To bring in players over the top of them, that costs money. That’s the Catch 22 situation. There is a squad here who have been highly successful, but you always have to evolve and the best time to do that is when you are succeeding. It’s a challenge, but most Scottish teams will find that.

“It’s still an incredible league to come to. There’s a lot of negativity around the transfer window, but you need to have that resourcefulness to maximise what you have.”

Rodgers has signed Vakoun Issouf Bayo and Maryan Shved and brought in Oliver Burke and Timothy Weah on loan this month and feels the benefits of increasing his options in attack have been obvious for all to see.

“When we got to the Rangers game, we were playing Mikey (Johnston), bless him, up front,” he said. “He can do that well in certain games, but in the big games, where the quality can make the difference, for me it’s important (to strengthen).

“We are a team who attacks well. We brought in three young players who can hopefully give us that and two of them (Burke and Weah) have started really well.

“You need competition to maximise what you can get out of a player. That’s sometimes the greatest coach they can have - competition. The guy beside them who wants their shirt. We probably haven’t had that in certain areas.”