Sunday 4 December 2016

Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers swoops for Liverpool defender Kolo Toure

Published 23/07/2016 | 12:31

Defender Kolo Toure has joined Celtic
Defender Kolo Toure has joined Celtic

Kolo Toure has arrived in Glasgow for a medical ahead of a move to link up with his old Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers at Celtic.

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Rodgers has been keen to add some high profile signings to his squad since taking over at Celtic in May, with the capture of out-of-contract Ivory Coast international Toure certain to be a popular signing.

Images of Toure and his agent in Glasgow have emerged on Twitter, with the former Arsenal and Manchester City centre-back certain to add a touch of star quality to the Celtic line-up if a deal is completed.

Toure has been courted by clubs in Qatar and Abu Dhabi, but the opportunity to play under Rodgers and play in the Scottish Premiership in a season that will see the long-awaited renewal of rivalries between Celtic and Rangers may be too temping to ignore.

“There is no doubt we need one or two more players,” stated Rodgers earlier this week. “The key for me is bringing in quality rather than quantity. We want players here who can contribute and we are working to try and make that happen.

“I don’t want any player, I want the right player. I’ll never stockpile players. We’ve a good bunch and are champions.

Brendan Rodgers is alone with his thoughts during Celtic’s shock defeat to Lincoln Red Imps on Tuesday night. Picture Credit: SNS Group
Brendan Rodgers is alone with his thoughts during Celtic’s shock defeat to Lincoln Red Imps on Tuesday night. Picture Credit: SNS Group

“For us to take a step forward, we need to cut numbers and then I need to add a little bit more to it. But it’s about availability, affordability and timing.”

Fenerbahce full back Hasan Ali Kaldirim has also been strongly linked with a move to Celtic in recent days, with Rodgers eager to bolster his squad numbers as he looks to plot a route through to the Champions League group stages.

After an unconvincing win against Gibraltarian side Lincoln Red Imps in the opening qualifying round of Europe’s elite competition, Celtic face a against Kazakhstan side Astana next week.

Rodgers summed up the perils of the tie as he suggested the logistics surrounding the long trip to eastern Europe would be as challenging as the opposition they will be facing.

“Apart from the six-hour flight, and the five-hour time difference and the 35 degree heat and the plastic pitch with no water, it should be all right,” stated Rodgers in one of the best quotes of this fledgling season.

Toure will not be eligible to play in the Astana tie as the deadline to register him for the match has passed, with Rodgers conceding he is short of defenders for a crucial game in Celtic’s season.

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