'I know of the player' - Celtic manager speaks on Luis Palma link as winger misses training

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers confirmed that discussions with Reo Hatate over a new contract are on-going. (Photo by Paul Devlin / SNS Group)

It has been claimed the Scottish champions are in discussions with Greek side Aris over a near £4m move for the 24-year-old, who has netted 21 times in 56 appearances since he joined them from Vida in January 2022. And Rodgers did not shoot down the links with Palma, who was posted missing from his club’s training on Thursday. “I know of the player but there is nothing to confirm,” the Irishman said, all that he was willing to offer up on the subject.

Rodgers proved as non-committal over conflicting reports regarding the club’s moves to extend the contracts of current players Reo Hatate and Liel Abada. Both have been subject to transfer speculation over the summer. The pair are contracted till the summer of 2026 but Celtic have proved keen to strike new deals with a number of assets after Kyogo Furuhashi, Daizen Maeda and Stephen Welsh agreed new terms this summer.

“I think [the Hatate discussions have] been ongoing from before I came in. The club and his representatives have been trying to organise that, and they will continue with that I’m sure,” said Rodgers, who offered a “don’t know” to whether there was optimism within the club that the Japanese playmaker - currently sidelined with a thigh strain - would agree to new terms, as has been posited after he was said to have turned down an initial offer.

In terms of the state of play with Abada, the Celtic manager said: “Again, the agent has spoken with the club, and there’s dialogue at the minute. Obviously, the club is in a strong position. The club has done great with a number of players, a lot of players are tied to long-term deals. Of course, they want to reward and value the players, and give them the worth that they come to an agreement on. I think that’s what they are doing at the minute. It is important [to protect players as assets]. If you look strategically, the club has done that really, really well. Liel has years left on his deal, but we would like to reward him and one or two of the other players who have been here for a few seasons and done well. The negotiations are ongoing.”