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Gordon Strachan surprised Brendan Rodgers looks set to trade Celtic for Leicester

Brendan Rodgers
Brendan Rodgers

Former Celtic and Scotland manager Gordon Strachan is surprised Brendan Rodgers looks set to leave the Hoops for Leicester.

The Parkhead club have granted Rodgers permission to speak to the Foxes, who sacked Claude Puel on Sunday.

Strachan, speaking to bookmaker Paddy Power, says he feels Rodgers should have held out for a bigger club.

Strachan said: “I’m disappointed Brendan has left Celtic for Leicester – I would’ve wanted him to at least have stayed until the end of the season.

“I thought Brendan would wait a wee while longer and get a club somewhere around the world that guarantees you Champions League football.

“But I understand that he, and the club, have probably made a decision to remove the uncertainty from the situation. The club can now move forward.

“Let’s get one thing clear: Celtic are a giant club. One of the biggest in the world. Far bigger than Leicester. But that’s not the comparison – the league in England is far advanced of Scotland’s that it’s untrue.

“There’s a point when you’re in Scotland when you say ‘I’m at a huge club here, but is it enough?’ Was the league still testing Brendan? It did for the first season or two, because it was fresh, but it mightn’t have felt fresh anymore.

“Where would he go with them next season? His best team was probably in his first season.

“Small things like having to play on three plastic pitches every season, which rattles him, or the fact that you can’t progress in the Champions League – Europe has probably been the one disappointment for Brendan at Celtic but, without spending £150million, I don’t know what more he and his coaching team could do.

“You also have to consider the madness of being an Old Firm manager, where you spend 75% of your time answering questions about things that have nothing to do with football, which can be draining. It takes away from the beauty of the game.”

But Strachan feels Celtic will already know have a shortlist of candidates who could succeed Rodgers.

He said: “It’s a blow to the club, but they’ve lost managers before and dealt with it. There’ll be a mad rush around the world now, of people wanting to apply to work at Celtic.

“The people behind the scenes at the club have seen it all before. They’re so good at their job, it’s like working with chess players. They can see problems coming, they’ll have prepared for this – they would’ve known it was coming.

“There’ll be a lot of great managers they talk to. They’ve hired people before with links to the club, but also without links – my only link to Celtic was getting booed every time I played there with Aberdeen.

“The next appointment will say a lot about how Celtic see themselves. Do they keep playing the same way that Brendan had them? Which might be a good idea. They have the means to buy players better than the rest of the division, so it’s a great job.”

Strachan was quick to rule out a return to Parkhead.

He added: “Me? No, no, no, no. If you’ve had such a good time at a club, like I did at Celtic, I don’t think I could re-trace my steps. Unless that’s the only place you’ve felt alive and it’s your club. Others have done it, but I’m onto different things now.

“And I think I would’ve got a whisper of it, as I talk to Peter (Lawell) and Dermot (Desmond) quite often. It might have come up but they only talk to me about golf.”

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