Rodgers aims for talks with under-fire Celtic player about his future this week
By Coral Barry
Brendan Rodgers is set to hold talks with Scott Brown this week and is ready to assure the Celtic skipper he has a long-term future at the club.
Brown, 30, was subject of some major criticism this season, along with the rest of the Celtic first team, and questions have been raised as to whether new manager Rodgers would look to move him on.
Rodgers is expected to perform major surgery on the overcrowded Celtic squad this summer, with as many as 12 players heading for the exit, but has revealed he expects Brown to stay at the club for a long time and thinks he may have what it takes to emulate another famous skipper he worked with.
“Scott is a real warrior and he will stay captain here, 150 per cent,” said Rodgers, as quoted by the Daily Record.
“Last season, towards the end, he was maybe hit a little by injury. But he’s only 30 and still has his best years ahead.
“When I went into Liverpool as manager, Steven [Gerrard] was 32. There was a lot of talk that maybe his best days were gone.
“But Steven went on for the next two years and was brilliant for me at Anfield. He was a great leader and he nearly went on to lift the Premier League title.”
Brown played 36 games for Celtic in all competitions last season, but had parts of the campaign interrupted by injury, including the last three games of the Hoops’ Scottish Premiership season.
The Scotland international’s current deal runs until 2018, but he could now be in line for a fresh contract after Rodgers hinted he would be remaining at the club for the long-term.
Celtic lifted the title for the fifth time in a row, but have been frustrated in their Champions League campaigns in recent times, failing to make the group stages for two seasons running.
Former Liverpool manager Rodgers has been brought in to try and rectify that problem as well as deliver more league titles.