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10th Jan, 2017 | 12:00pm

Stuart McCall: This is Celtic signing of the season (not Dembele)

By Matt Farr

Former Rangers player and manager Stuart McCall believes Brendan Rodgers has been Celtic’s biggest coup of the season.

Rodgers was appointed as manager at Parkhead in the summer, and has since led Celtic on an unbeaten streak in the Scottish Premiership that has seen them go 19 points clear of second-placed rivals.

They look certain to lift their sixth consecutive domestic title, having already lifted the Scottish League Cup crown earlier in the season.

McCall, who made 265 appearances for Rangers in the 1990s, as well as spending 17 games in charge at Ibrox in 2015, hailed the impact the former Liverpool manager has had at Celtic.

Rodgers’ appointment was announced just four days prior to another of Scotland’s biggest coups this season, Joey Barton’s transfer to Rangers.

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However, McCall insists that while his former club made a big statement with the signing of Barton, Celtic took first-prize with Rodgers.

He told the Daily Mail: “I remember at the time of Barton signing thinking: ‘That’s a big statement from Rangers’. But to bring Brendan in was a massive coup for Celtic. As the season progresses, the Barton thing didn’t work out and Brendan worked out magnificently.

“The difference with Brendan is what he’s got out the team. Look at Scott Brown and Stuart Armstrong. The new manager has given them a new lease of life.

“Celtic have absolutely stormed it and done far better than anyone would have thought in terms of wins; hence the gap is as big as it is.”

The Scottish Premiership campaign is currently on a winter break, and both Celtic and Rangers will return to action in the final week of January.

The Hoops can extend their lead at the top of the table to 22 points by winning their game in-hand against St. Johnstone, leaving it all to do for Rangers in the title race.

In other Celtic news, Brendan Rodgers has revealed where the club are searching for their next transfer targets.