Brendan Rodgers has no worries about ‘happy’ Matt O’Riley leaving Celtic after shock La Liga leaders Girona were the latest club to have been credited with an interest in the midfielder.

The Celtic manager hasn’t felt it necessary to speak to the 23-year-old about the transfer speculation surrounding him after witnessing how he dealt with a similar scenario in the summer, with the fact he didn’t agitate for a move when there were concrete options telling him everything he needs to know about O’Riley’s commitment to the club.

And Rodgers is excited to see what the next stage for O’Riley might be at Celtic as he develops leadership skills to go along with his undoubted technical ability.

“I think we saw that in the summer when there was clearly interest and he could have left,” Rodgers said.

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“But we didn’t want to sell for one and, two, he was very happy here.

“So, yeah, he is a great guy to have around and a really good teammate. I could see him grow as a leader as well, within the team. He is really enjoying his football.

“It’s all speculation and we all know the game, we know how it works. My only focus is on the players while they are here each day to try to make them better. Anything other than that is only ever gossip or speculation unless something comes to me. Otherwise there is nothing for me to speak about.

“In terms of form, quality, professionalism, age, everything, Matt has been top class in my time here.

“It’s great to see a young player develop – but he deserves it because he puts so much into his game. Off the pitch he prepares himself well and that gives him the confidence. He then works beside that, and you see his success on the pitch.

“He is such a graceful player, how he gets about, and he is at that age where that hunger and mentality is there to get better and improve.”

Rodgers was delighted to finally secure his first signing of the transfer window this week in winger Nick Kuhn, and he is now setting his sights on bringing in a striker to help share the load with Kyogo Furuhashi.

“It’s an area we have to look at, we can’t ignore it,” he said.

“It’s the balance between bringing someone in to challenge while acknowledging that’s a difficult sell to someone when Kyogo has been fantastic here. Or is it a young player who comes in with potential to improve and get better?

“Those are the things that you think about, because it really is only for a short period of time that those guys will be missing [at the African Cup of Nations and the Asian Cup]. But, yeah, it’s all about availability.

“It’s also one that we have been looking at for a period of time and it would have really changed if Kyogo had gone away with Japan. That was our thinking process, that we would actually be left with no one.

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“Him being here for virtually one game a week for a number of weeks changes the dynamic.

“It’s about getting the right players in. You can easily bring players in. But sometimes it takes a bit of time and patience. We’ve got the winger we wanted and there are some other positions we want to improve.

“If the players are available and we can do a deal, then great. If not, we’ll move on to the summer.

“It will only be if the right players are not available.”