BRENDAN Rodgers has stressed that Celtic do not have to sell their prized playmaker Matt O’Riley this summer and revealed that he is determined to add even more quality to the Parkhead squad ahead of the 2024/25 campaign.

The Scottish champions turned down an eight figure bid for the Danish midfielder from Spanish giants Atletico Madrid, who they played in the Champions League group stages last year, during the January transfer window.

O’Riley, who was shortlisted for the PFA Scotland Premiership Player of the Year award this month as a result of his outstanding form for the Glasgow club, has been linked with both Girona and Inter Milan in recent weeks.

However, Rodgers, whose team take on Kilmarnock in the cinch Premiership at Rugby Park this evening, has stated that Celtic, whose half-yearly financial results in February showed they had £67.3m reserves in the bank, do not need to cash in on the 23-year-old.

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“We don't have to sell,” he said. “We are not in a position to do that. Of course, if something comes in, just as it did in January, then at a club like Celtic it will always be looked at. But there is no need to sell.

“Matt has had a brilliant season for us and it great testament to his professionalism and how he has developed as a football player. Naturally, those players will attract attention if they've done well and you have done well at a club of this status and performed under pressure. The attention will come. It is not something I lose sleep over.”

Former Swansea City, Liverpool and Leicester City manager Rodgers admitted this season has been the most challenging which he has experienced in the dugout due to a number of off-field issues.

The Herald: Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers has urged his board to help him in the January transfer window.The Celtic board have been severely criticised by supporters for the business which they conducted in both transfer windows - but the Northern Irishman is optimistic they will be able to land some marquee signings during the summer and improve upon the progress they have made this term.

“We have to, that's pretty clear,” he said. “I am really excited about moving forward and moving into a bright future with the club. This season has been a real challenge and the squad is not as strong as I would like it to have been.

“What the players have given me until this point has been absolutely brilliant. Our job going forward next year is to be stronger, much stronger. That is something that is well underway.”

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Asked if he would like to get players in early so they can take part in pre-season training and integrate into his squad, Rodgers said: “I think every coach and manager would like to be able to do that. There are definitely positions that we'd like to have finalised sooner rather than later. Ideally, if we can do that then great.

“But what's really important for us this summer is getting the level of quality that I want into the squad. That will be absolutely key for the growth of this team. As I've said, the guys in this team have been absolutely fantastic this season, but next season we need more depth in the squad.

“In my past time here, I was going away to Ross County making eight changes. I was bringing into that team [players like] Stuart Armstrong, Ryan Christie, guys who have shown that they're Premier League quality.

“I remember going away to Dubai to our training camp, and, in a proper game, the second team beat the starters 5-0. That gave me great food for thought then when I came back for the second part of the season. It was a proper football game.

“That told me the depth that was required and I think that's something that's definitely required here because we lost a bit of that in the summer, and no doubt that we'll need to restructure that going forward. We've got some fantastic players here and we want to add to that.”

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He continued: “Every season has to be a learning season on and off the pitch. I've gained nothing but support from Michael [chief executive Nicholson] and the people here.

“But going forward, the football strategy is very much there in terms of what it is we want to bring in. It's not about numbers, it's about increasing the quality of the squad. But that's for later on, we still have a massive job to do over the next three games.”