Ange Postecoglou expects more ins and outs at Celtic; there have been seven summer additions so far; the club has announced chairman Ian Bankier will retire in January; watch Celtic vs Aberdeen live on Sky Sports on Sunday, kick-off 4:30pm
Friday 29 July 2022 17:25, UK
Ange Postecoglou insists Celtic have already achieved their key recruitment objectives, but there is still likely to be more transfer activity before the window closes.
The Hoops have signed last season’s loan stars Jota and Cameron Carter-Vickers on permanent deals, while also bolstering the squad with keeper Benjamin Siegrist, left-back Alexandro Bernabei, centre-back Moritz Jenz and midfielder Aaron Mooy in good time for Sunday’s Scottish Premiership opener at home to Aberdeen.
With a month to go until the transfer deadline, Postecoglou anticipates more business.
“We’re happy with the ones we’ve brought in,” said the manager. “There were some areas I felt we needed strengthening from a squad perspective: Goalkeeper, left-back, centre-back and midfield were definitely areas that I wanted to make us a bit stronger and more robust and it’s great we’ve done that.
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“Re-signing Jota and Cameron on permanent deals was also an important part of what we are trying to build. I’m pleased with where we’re at, but there’s still four weeks of the window open and we’ll still be active and agile to see where we can strengthen.
“There will be some outgoings and some opportunities potentially to bring others in but there’s nothing set in stone with that. Where we sit right now, we’ve done the crucial bits I thought we needed to do and, if there are some areas we can still improve on in the next couple of weeks, we will.”
Postecoglou admits 23-year-old winger Mikey Johnston could be loaned out.
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“Yeah, potentially,” he said. “We’re working with Mikey on that. There’s definitely a talented footballer there but sometimes you just need a different environment to help that happen.
“I just think for him and his career, maybe some time away playing in a different environment can help bring out all the potential we know he has.
“He’s been unlucky with injuries but this pre-season he hasn’t missed a session and he’s been great. We’re working hard to see whether we can facilitate something with him.”
Celtic kick off their Premiership title defence this weekend with everyone available except Carl Starfelt, who is short of match fitness after a hamstring injury, and Yosuke Ideguchi, who has a leg gash.
Postecoglou is delighted to be entering the new campaign with his squad in a far more settled state than a year ago, when he was having to oversee a major transition in his opening weeks in the job.
“If you wind the clock back 12 months, it was pretty chaotic,” he said. “We were going into the first game having signed some players but they were in quarantine, others were still flying in and others hadn’t even signed yet.
“Pre-season was pretty frenetic with Champions League qualifiers as well. It’s a different feel this year. The fact we’re champions I don’t think is the biggest difference. The biggest difference is that we’re more settled and we’ve had a different pre-season.”
Postecoglou is anticipating another exhilarating campaign for his side.
“We’ll enjoy the ride,” he said. “We had our ups and downs last year but we stuck together and as I always say, it’s how you feel after you get off the roller-coaster that’s important.
“I think most people enjoyed the ride last year. I’m sure we’ll have our ups and downs again this year, but hopefully at the end everyone gets off and says ‘that was a hell of a ride, let’s go again’.”
Celtic chairman Ian Bankier is to retire at the end of the year.
A club statement read: “Over the next few months, Ian will work closely with the club on a period of smooth transition, with his successor being announced in due course.”
Bankier added: “It has been an honour and a privilege to serve the club I will always love, as chairman, for more than 10 years.
“Our aim was always to deliver success on and off the pitch and, above all, to give Celtic fans a club they could be proud of.
“During this time, I am grateful to have had the opportunity to work with so many fantastic people who have had Celtic in their hearts and worked so hard for our club.”
Principal shareholder Dermot Desmond thanked Bankier for his contribution.
“Ian has provided great counsel and stability across a sustained period of growth and success for the club, and I wish Ian and his family well for the future,” the Irishman added.
“We will ensure that we work very closely with Ian over the next few months to deliver a smooth and effective transition prior to announcing his successor.”
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