By support

2nd Jan, 2017 | 7:42am

Chris Sutton: Celtic must do this in January to blow Rangers out of the water

By Matt Farr

Chris Sutton has insisted that the Celtic board must provide Brendan Rodgers with a hefty transfer budget this month and buy a top-notch midfielder.

Sutton is no stranger to the rivalry between Celtic and Rangers, having spent five-and-a-half years at Celtic Park, winning four league titles.

The former England striker claimed that Celtic have the perfect opportunity to leave their great rivals trailing in their wake, and believes that allowing Rodgers to spend big will create a gap between the two sides from which Rangers will never recover.

The Hoops currently hold bragging rights over Rangers, having defeated their Old Firm rivals three times in all competitions this season, and winning the last five league titles.

Pundit Sutton told the Daily Record: “Brendan has to strengthen from a position of strength in the transfer window.

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“I know the league is already won and there’s no Europe for the remainder of the season and I don’t believe for a minute that Rodgers will think that way.

“This is the time Celtic should finish Rangers now. If Brendan hasn’t earned the right to bring in a top-quality midfielder, there will never be a better time.

“Domestically, Celtic are miles better than everybody else, but this is where they have to look at making an impact in Europe next season.

“The money they’ve accumulated from the Champions League, and with the chance to add to it next season by getting there again, this is the time to tread on Rangers. You don’t let them get back up again.

“Celtic had the chance to move away from Rangers for ever in 2012 when they went bust, but they didn’t take it. They’ve got another chance now and they should be ruthless enough to take it.”

The Hoops’ European campaign this season ended in the group-stage, having been drawn against tournament giants Barcelona, as well as Manchester City and Borussia Monchengladbach.

The tournament started miserably for Rodgers’ side, losing 7-0 to Barcelona at the Nou Camp; but the result spurred them on.

They drew twice with Manchester City, and once with Gladbach, but missed the opportunity to qualify. Sutton is confident though, that their fortunes can turn around if Rodgers attracts the big-name players.

Meanwhile, Celtic are currently 19 points clear at the top of the Scottish Premiership, with their 2-1 win over Rangers on Saturday giving them a nearly unassailable lead.

Rodgers’ side have yet to taste defeat in domestic competitions this season, having won 19 of their 20 league games, and lifting the Scottish League Cup in November.

In other Celtic news, Rodgers has revealed this bizarre training method in preparation for the Rangers meeting.