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May be leaving the club- Brendan Rodgers confirms transfer rumours

Brendan Rodgers has confirmed that there is transfer interest in Carl Starfelt.

When the Celtic side was announced to face Ross County today attention was instantly drawn to the absences of Starfelt and Reo Hatate who were listed among the substitutes.

Two weeks ago Football Scotland claimed that Spartak Moscow were showing interest in the Swede, on Thursday night David Friel of The Sun claimed that Celtic were preparing for offers for the Swedish defender.

Ever since his partner, Jacynta, left Celtic for Sporting Lisbon there has been speculation that Starfelt might be looking for a move.

Moscow would be an awful further from Lisbon that Glasgow but an offer from Spain or Portugal would seem much more attractive.

Rodgers told Radio Scotland: “Carl may be leaving the club. He’s been fantastic but we may lose him. So this is a chance for Maik (Nawrocki) to build a partnership with Cameron Carter-Vickers.”

UPDATE: Speaking to Sky Sports after the match Rodgers was asked about Starfelt and said ‘that could go through this week’

The 28-year-old Swede was one of Ange Postecoglou’s first signings, joining in July 2021 on a four year contract he went straight into the side, forming a very successful partnership with Cameron Carter-Vickers who was signed at the end of the summer 2021 transfer window.

Celtic appear to have anticipated the prospect of Starfelt leaving by signing Maik Nawrocki from Legia Warsaw with the Pole going straight into the side today alongside Carter-Vickers.

All three of those players were unavailable for last Saturday’s friendly against Wolves but returned to play against Athletic Bilbao in the James Forrest testimonial match.

The new look central defence had their work cut out today against Ross County with the visitors winning seven corners during the first half.

Despite that Celtic went in leading 3-0 at the break thanks to a double from David Turnbull either side of a typical strike from Kyogo Furuhashi.

In a reverse of the first half Celtic started on the front foot, created and missed chances then lost a goal on the hour from a looping Jordan White header.

Starfelt and Hatate came off the bench in the 66th minute, replacing Nawrocki and Turnbull with the Swede returning to his usual berth on the left of Carter-Vickers.

Celtic’s three goal margin was restored in the 73rd minute when Matt O’Riley raced onto a pass from Kyogo to net but in stoppage time Starfelt deflected a shot past Joe Hart to finish up with an unconvincing 4-2 scoreline.

It is unlikely that there will an early resolution to the situation with Starfelt, if he is leaving Rodgers will need to decide whether he brings someone else into that position or promotes Stephen Welsh or Liam Scales.

On the plus side Carter-Vickers got a full 90 minutes in and looked as assured and authoritative as ever despite a three month lay off.

Turnbull’s goals and a lively competitive debut from Yang off the bench were positives alongside the movement and finishing of Kyogo but the usual level of fluency was missing with a late injury to Liel Abada needing to be checked out.

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