The Rodgers evolution

Celtic started the defence of their title yesterday.

The only issue for the champions was the injury to Olivier Ntcham.

That flagged up the concern among many of the Parkhead faithful about that lack of activity in the transfer market.

I spoke to a Celtic source yesterday and he admitted that the recruitment timescale had not worked out as planned.

He said that the club had expected to have had another two players in at this stage to join record signing Odsonne Édouard.

He told me that he still expected “two or three deals to be done after the EPL squads are announced”.

What he then described to me was a sort of domino effect of excluded players looking for new clubs.

The picture painted for me is one where the manager is in total charge of the recruitment.

For example, if Brendan wants Paddy Roberts as a signing then the money is there and the fee has been agreed.

I feel for John McGinn in the long-running saga with Hibernian.

It wasn’t the lad or his representatives who TWICE moved the goalposts during the negotiations.

Neither, for the avoidance of doubt, was it Celtic.

When the summer transfer window closes the champions will have the strongest squad in Scotland even if there are no more new acquisitions.

However, the two Irishmen who are steering the club want the team to evolve into an even more formidable machine.