By Wayne Veysey

7th Apr, 2017 | 6:29pm

Rodgers: I signed to smooth Celtic talks with these four players

By Alex Stevens

Brendan Rodgers has revealed one of the reasons he has signed a new Celtic contract is to smooth negotiations with his own players.

Celtic announced on Friday that Rodgers had committed to a new four-year deal that will run until the summer of 2021.

It replaces the rolling 12-month contract that the northern Irishman, 44, signed when he was appointed at Parkhead last June.

Rodgers explained that one factor in the long-term deal is that it will help in persuading the first-team members to commit to extensions of their own.

He named four players that the club are keen to tie to new contracts, including Craig Gordon, who recently penned a three-year deal.

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“I had to sit and think about all the players who I sat talking about contracts with,” Rodgers said, as quoted by the Scottish Sun.

“It was going to be very hard for me to sit with Craig Gordon, Kieran Tierney, Tom Rogic and James Forrest and all these boys and ask them to commit their futures to Celtic, and me be sat on a one-year rolling contract.

“I’ve enjoyed working with the players here. I feel there are a lot of improvements to make and it’s a young squad.

“We’ve got some real good experience in there as well and I think over the four years it allows the fruition of that group.

“Players would always look at the manager and see how long he’s at the club.

“If I’m sat there committed to thee club fully in terms of the contract hopefully it makes things a bit easier for them.”

Rodgers’ new deal comes just days after Celtic secured their sixth consecutive Scottish Premiership title in record time on the back of a 31-match unbeaten run.

The Hoops have already won the Scottish Cup while there’s also a Scottish Cup semi-final to come against Rangers in a fortnight as they chase a first domestic clean sweep for 16 years.

Rodgers also took Celtic into the Champions League group stages, where they secured a memorable draw against Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City.

In other Celtic news, the deal is all but done for a proven Premier League performer to sign for the Scottish giants.

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