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I feel that we need another one- Rodgers admits to transfer wish

Brendan Rodgers has admitted that he needs another one in his central defence.

It seems that the Celtic boss could soon get his wish with reports from Poland claiming that Maik Nawrocki flew to Glasgow on Friday to complete a deal costing between £4-5m.

The Legia Warsaw defender was missing from his side’s Ekstraklasa opener last night at home to LKS Lodz, in midweek Legia are away to Ordabasy in a UEFA Conference qualifier.

All of the signs point towards Nawrocki being a Celtic player by the time that Rodgers’ squad returns from Japan, all being well he could be preparing for a debut next Saturday against Wolves in Dublin.

Asked about his central defence the Celtic boss told the Daily Record: “It’s one of the areas that I felt we could have greater depth in.

We have some really good platers already here of course with Cameron Carter-Vickers and Carl Starfelt who have been the regular two. Yuki Kobayashi hasn’t played so much but is also there.

We also have Stephen Welsh who is a really committed player for the squad. He’s a really good lad and it’s been good to see him develop. But I feel we need another one.”

From those quotes Liam Scales and Bosun Lawal, who are both in Japan can prepare for loan moves elsewhere in the season ahead.

Carter-Vickers was outstanding for Ange Postecoglou but it is less than ideal to have such a heavy dependency on one player. The drop off in performances and goals conceded in the post-split fixtures won’t have gone unnoticed by Rodgers.

The soon to be re-appointed manager watched Carter-Vickers final performance of last season from a hospitality box at Hampden, even awaiting knee surgery he stood tall in defence to anchor Celtic into a cup final that he knew he wouldn’t be playing in.

Today’s match against Gamba Osaka is unlikely to throw up any fresh evidence with Rodgers expected to give two different XIs 45 minutes.

With Carter-Vickers missing the essential pre-season preparations Celtic will have to be very careful with the final stages of his rehab.

Building up the fitness levels in tandem with getting in some friendly matches will be impossible with the rest of the squad at least a month down the line.

Getting Nawrocki fully integrated into the squad will reduce the pressure to get Carter-Vickers back in the side with Pittodrie and Ibrox the critical fixtures in the first month of the season rather than Champions League qualifiers.

Looking further down the line it wouldn’t be a massive surprise if there is transfer interest in Carter-Vickers next summer or even in January. Like managers the time span of a top player at Celtic could be two to three years, or less as the examples of Jota, Giorgos Giakoumakis and Josip Juranovic demonstrates.

Earlier this week Celtic365 reported that Rodgers has decided that Kobayashi isn’t going to be part of his plans, clubs in Japan have been made aware of his availability.

Once Carter-Vickers was signed, initially on loan, Postecoglou stuck faithfully with his partnership with Starfelt with central defence exempt from rotation with both players playing every minute of the final 18 matches of the 21/22 season.

That seemed to come at a price with the Swede out injured for two spells during the first part of the season, the Carter-Vickers and Starfelt partnership never played together in any Champions League matches.

Having three or four central defenders in the mix looks like a healthy option for Rodgers but until Nawrocki is signed and Carter-Vickers is playing again it will remain a matter of speculation.

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