Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers has addressed calls from supporters to spend significant money on a first-team ready centre-back this summer, admitting that such matters are out of his control.
The lack of defensive options has come to the fore again this week after the suspension of Jozo Simunovic for tonight’s clash with Rosenborg, with Rodgers likely turning to the inexperienced Jack Hendry and Kristoffer Ajer to get through the tie against the Norwegian champions.
With the right hand side of defence also looking weak and there being no direct, natural back-up to the impressive Kieran Tierney, there are serious question marks about the depth of the defensive line heading into the new season.
That seems to have been the case for a number of years.
In terms of new signings this summer though, it appears Celtic fans should expect players that have to be developed rather than defenders ready for action in the UEFA Champions League.
Addressing the recent concerns and discussing the prospect of spending big on a defender, the Hoops boss told The Daily Mail:
We can’t do it. The club works in a specific way.
You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to know that if you are going to improve drastically from what this group is at and where it has got to over the last couple of years that in order for that to make the improvements that people want to make, it costs money. But that is out of my control.
The problem is that if you are going to bring in a top centre-half then that is going to cost you money. It is as simple as that. And big money. That is out of my control.
If not then you have to do what the club has always done. You bring in players who fit the model of the club and you develop them and improve them and then probably eventually they move on.
The club has invested heavily in the first team already this summer with the acquisition of Odsonne Edouard, who has thrilled supporters in the early part of the season with excellent link-up play and devastating attacking action.
However, the defence is clearly a priority and hopefully the decision makers at Celtic Park can find the funds available to sign a quality, experienced centre-back.
Obviously that player isn’t going to cost the club £10m or £15m, nobody is expecting that, but surely there are targets available for seven-figures that the club can afford before the end of August?
Time will tell. As it is, Rodgers has certainly let supporters know what to expect over the next five weeks.
How do you feel about the defensive situation at Celtic Park? Let us know in the comments below…