Brendan Rodgers at Celtic for long haul as insider offers transfer market explanation

Charlie Mulgrew took a lot of his meeting with Brendan Rodgers - not least that he's at Celtic for the long haul.

The Hoops boss' return for a second spell at the club was met by a lot of distrust from supporters after the way they felt he left them in the lurch to head for Leicester when they were gunning for 10-in-a-row, which turned out to be a failed quest without him. It took some time for him to win them over and obviously being successful on the pitch helped with that.

But there has still been a feeling and a fear in some quarters that he will always have one eye on heading back to the Premier League, despite the Northern Irishman insisting he would see out his three-year contract when he was confirmed. Mulgrew doesn't feel that is the case.

The new Hamilton Accies under-18s coach was in at Lennoxtown recently to speak to Rodgers and learn from him as he launches his own coaching career. And on top of all the learnings he did take, was a belief that the 51-year-old has big plans for Celts and will be sticking around to see them through.

Mulgrew said: "It was brilliant going to see Brendan a few months ago. It was really interesting to see how a top manager who’s been at the very top level in the Premiership works and operates. He’s put a lot of hours and work into coaching and it’s showing. It was good to see him and pick his brains on loads of stuff.

“There were just loads of questions, I took a lot of notes and it was great to see that. A lot of managers say they are here for the long-term but really they’ve got one eye on potentially going down south.

“I can’t speak for him but Brendan, in my opinion, looks to me as if he wants to be here for the long term. He’s been down south and now he’s back. It seems to me he’s really settled here and wants to be here for the long term and to really make the club better right through from the youths, to challenge in Europe and be successful.”

Hoops fans are once again starting to get impatient over a lack of signings, after a number of windows where the club and board have taken flak. But their former defender urged patience and explained how "complex" navigating the transfer market is - especially when the club will be trying to move on plenty of players as well as secure incomings.

"It’s such a complex situation," he said. "Look at the signings they made last year. Look at how many people who are in the building this year that they might need to move on. They need to juggle the squad. You have unhappy players in the changing room.

“I’d imagine some players need to go out because they want to play football and that’s not easy because they want to at least stay on the same money. Who wants to buy them?

“So many things can happen. I understand the Celtic fans want players in the building but that is happening at other clubs. So if Celtic are trying to sign a player, but other teams will be wanting them as well.

“That’s why these things drag out. It’s not as easy as saying ‘I want these five targets’ and bang they are in for the first day of pre-season. It doesn’t happen like that. But I think they’ll be in a stronger position. They’ll try and get the business done, even though it is difficult.”

*Charlie Mulgrew was speaking at the launch of the William Hill SPFL Season 2024/25 fixtures. William Hill are the proud sponsors of all four SPFL league competitions.