CELTIC want to keep David Turnbull beyond this season, with Brendan Rodgers stating that hesitation over the agreement of a new contract isn’t coming from the club’s side.

Rodgers revealed that talks over an extension to Turnbull’s current deal, which ends in the summer, have been ongoing, with the manager keen for the former Motherwell man to remain part of his squad.

While he also understands that Turnbull may be looking for more regular first team football than he has been getting of late at Celtic, he says the opportunity is there for the 24-year-old to cement his place as a key player in his team if he shows the ‘intensity and ambition’ required to seize the chance.

READ MORE: Brendan Rodgers on Celtic board's row with Green Brigade

“For us, David is a player we would like to keep, so it is not us here on the club side,” Rodgers said.

“He has to do what he thinks is right for himself. At this moment in time, he is still in the last year of his contract.

“For me, unless something changes, it is just a case of as long as the players are giving their all. It only becomes a problem if I don’t see the intensity that I want, the mentality that I want.

“That’s always something I am mindful of with players in the last year of their contracts. You have to be right on it or otherwise you can drift very, very easily, and think about other things. As a manager I won’t let that happen, no matter how good anyone is.

“There have been talks with his agent and the club, I believe, but I’m not sure what the latest on that is.

“[He’s] still young but I think when you get to that age, you do want to play, and be a starter. But if you want to be a starter at Celtic, it is that intensity and ambition you need to show, every game you play.

“There is no doubt he is a talented player. You see his goal [against St Mirren] - there are not many can score goals of that quality.

“I really like David. He is a good guy, has good size, he moves when he wants to move, good technique. And he scores goals. And that is why he was in the team the other night, because he is a goal threat.”

Meanwhile, Rodgers has urged other fringe players in his squad – particularly in the centre of defence, where he is now well stocked – to remain patient and continue to work hard in training to earn a chance in the starting XI.

An early season injury crisis at the heart of the Celtic backline saw Liam Scales thrown in alongside new signing Gustaf Lagerbielke for some key matches, with Nat Phillips brought in on loan from Liverpool to provide cover alongside Yuki Kobayashi.

The return to fitness of Cameron Carter-Vickers, Maik Nawrocki and Stephen Welsh though now means there are seven senior players fighting it out for just two positions, which Scales and Carter-Vickers look to have locked down.

“We had the period where we had hardly any centre-backs and now everyone is back available,” he said.

“It is just a case of keeping chipping away for the players that aren’t in the squad, and for them to continue to work hard. That is all you can do. Work hard, and then see where it takes us.

READ MORE: 'We have to be better' - Rodgers highlights where Celtic must improve

“Liam Scales has done brilliant. He is worthy of playing, and has shown great consistency in stepping up when he had to play. His next period is about then playing under pressure, and I mean with players coming back. That is a different challenge.

“It is okay playing when there is no-one available but then playing when they are all back available and still at the same level is good.

“Those players in the background just have to work and be ready for when, and if, an opportunity comes.”

Whether that comes for any of them today in Dingwall remains to be seen, with Celtic facing the trip north to face Ross County just days before heading to Spain to take on Atletico Madrid.

“It’s a great little pitch, the supporters are close to you, and I’ve always enjoyed going up there,” Rodgers said.

“It’s a good place to go. I look forward to seeing Malky (Mackay) as well because he’s done a great job there and will continue to do so.

“Roy MacGregor is a man I’ve a lot of time for – with what he’s done for that region and the football club. I can’t praise him enough really.

“He’s a great man who’s given the club everything he possibly can. To bring a team from the Highland League into the Scottish Premiership is a great job.

“Between the two of them, they are doing a brilliant job.”