By Will Butcher
Brendan Rodgers is looking to boost Celtic’s hopes of progressing in next season’s Champions League with the double signing of Lucas Leiva and Charly Musonda, according to a report.
The Daily Mail claim Rodgers has identified the duo, from top-four sides Liverpool and Chelsea, to bolster his side ahead of their participation in Europe.
It is believed that 30-year-old midfielder Lucas is to leave Anfield on a free transfer in the summer, with his contract set to expire in less than two months’ time.
Rodgers worked with Brazil international Lucas during his three-year spell in the managerial hotseat at Anfield, and could now form a reunion with the versatile star.
Interest in Liverpool’s number 21 is likely to be high after Italian giants Inter Milan approached Lucas in January, but stayed in order to complete 10 seasons on Merseyside.
He could now move to Glasgow with the lure of Champions League football, along with exciting young winger Charly Musonda who is on the fringes of Antonio Conte’s Chelsea squad.
The Belgium Under-21 international is yet to make his senior debut with the west London outfit, but did impress during a loan spell with La Liga side Real Betis.
Known for his blistering pace and tricky footwork, Musonda is likely to be allowed to leave Stamford Bridge on loan this summer and Rodgers seems set to move for the 20-year-old.
Football Insider verdict:
In a double signing that would cost Celtic no transfer money, Rodgers would significantly bolster his side on the cheap and could provide the difference in order to see his Bhoys’ side go one better and reach the knockout stages of the Champions League. Lucas’ experience in the Premier League as well as 57 career appearances in the Champions League and Europa League would provide huge know-how and tactical prowess next season when going up against Europe’s elite. Available on a free, a reunion between Lucas and Rodgers should be seen as a must. Similarly, Musonda would also prove a top signing as competition for James Forrest and Scott Sinclair, with Patrick Roberts likely to return to Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City.
In other Celtic transfer news, Hoops set to swoop for this Premier League star after his side suffered relegation.