Rodgers urges Celtic-linked Leicester starlet to stay down south

By David Walton

March 3, 2021

Brendan Rodgers has pitched why Celtic-linked Sidnei Tavares should stay with Leicester.

The young midfielder is out of contract in the summer, and could be signed for nothing on a pre-contract right now.

The Scottish Sun reported back in January that Celtic were looking at the Portuguese talent. However, the report stated that Barcelona have a gentleman’s agreement with Leicester to be Tavares’ first-choice destination.

Rodgers, however, has clearly shown his admiration for the youngster. Tavares made his first-team debut in the final 10 minutes against Slavia Prague last week. And that could be the first of many opportunities as the Leicester Mercury reported that the midfielder is now in contract talks.

And former Celtic boss Rodgers looked to pitch why Tavares should stay down south as opposed to Glasgow or Barcelona.

Speaking in comments published by the Mercury, Rodgers said: “He’s obviously a talented boy. Any player from a football perspective will see this as a great environment to have that opportunity to play.

“It (contract talks) is something that’s outside of myself. There are discussions going on between Jon (Rudkin, director of football) and his representatives and family. From a football perspective, he enjoys being here, you can see how much I think of him and having him around the squad at this time and sticking him into an important game.

“That’s all you can do. If there are other things they’re looking for, whether it’s finance or something else, that’s always up for negotiation. But from a football perspective, he’s in a really good place here. He has great qualities, he’s 6ft 2, has a wonderful view of the game, he covers the ground well, he can see a pass, he has a nice touch. He needs to get stronger, he needs to have a greater physicality to compete, but he has potential.

Rodgers struggling to keep Sidnei Tavares at Leicester

It sounds great at face value. A Barcelona-wanted youngster playing for Rodgers’ Leicester. If Celtic swooped in to secure him on a pre-contract, it would be a sweet acquisiton for Celtic fans.

After all. A talented 19-year-old signed whilst getting one over on Rodgers. For many it’s just about the only kind of deal they could get excited about.

But the truth is Celtic have enough talent in the central midfield ranks for now. Especially at Lennoxtown. Let’s not forget we have the likes of Scott Robertson, Kerr McInroy, and Luca Connell all looking for opportunities. Liam Shaw has also been signed for the new season too. And that’s only the ones in the development squad.

Reported Celtic target Sidnei Tavares / (Photo by Plumb Images/Leicester City FC via Getty Images)

If Tavares does move in the summer, it will be to a club where he can get minutes instantly. He hasn’t proven in his short career so far that he merits that. His appearance against Slavia last week was only his first professional appearance.

He’s an exciting talent, that’s for sure. Slowly climbing his way up the ranks at youth level with Portugal, there’s promise there.

But it looks highly unlikely that will be realised at Celtic Park.

In other news, a new managerial name has been put forward.