By Coral Barry
Murdo MacLeod believes Brendan Rodgers could look to replace Celtic’s Leigh Griffiths and Scott Brown this summer.
The Celtic boss is expected to make several additions to his squad in the coming weeks and former Hoops midfielder MacLeod believes that could include dropping the first team duo to make way for better players.
Griffiths, who scored 40 goals in all competitions this season, and captain Brown were two of the first names on the teamsheet under Ronny Deila’s reign, but MacLeod thinks the duo will have to be prepared to fight for their place next campaign.
“It’s a difficult one,” said MacLeod speaking to the Daily Record. “You have to assess the squad and if he can bring in players of a better standard, you’ve just got to go with that.
“Whether it’s Scott Brown or Leigh Griffiths, if you bring in a better player you change him.
“It depends who he brings in. The size of the Celtic squad has to be trimmed down – you can’t have 18 players sitting doing nothing week in, week out.
“They have to make some money by getting rid of some of the players and being able to finance better quality.
“The manager has just got to make a decision on whether Scott Brown is going to play in the team. It’s all about his opinion.”
Rodgers has been linked with a host of players in England since his appointment including full-back Andre Wisdom who he worked with at Liverpool, but has yet to make his first signing.
Almost the entirety of the Celtic squad were criticised through-out the season as the Hoops failed to qualify for the Champions League group stages, were beaten in the semi-final of the Scottish Cup by Rangers and then made hard work of wrapping up a fifth consecutive Scottish Premiership title.
As captain of the side, Brown was the subject of much of that criticism and questions have been raised about his future at Celtic as well as his fitness after he missed 18 games this season because of various injuries.
However, MacLeod believes that Rodgers’ adjustments will all come down to the budget at Celtic Park.
The former Borussia Dortmund player said: “The secret now lies in the size of the budget he’ll be given. How much money will he be given and what type of player will he bring in?
“If he brings in the level of player he is used to working with, he is going to make Celtic a much better team.
“I think they have to burst the current wage structure. You can talk about spending three, four, five million pounds on a player but Celtic don’t have the money to bring in three of four players of that ilk.
“So you have to look at loan players or those who are out of contract and pay them a lot of money.”