In Focus: Celtic’s big summer budget must be aided by keeping key stars

As reported by The Daily Mail, Jozo Simunovic is a wanted target for the likes of Sevilla, Torino and RB Leipzig this summer, but Celtic aren’t keen on selling.

What’s the story?

Simunovic has emerged as key figure in the heart of the Hoops defence this season, becoming the first choice star ahead of Erik Sviatchenko and Dedryck Boyata.

The Mail reckon four clubs on the continent are interested in Spain, Italy and Germany but Brendan Rodgers sees him as having a big future at Celtic Park.

As quoted by the paper, Rodgers said:

He’s only a boy really at 22 years of age and developing very, very well. He’s got all the attributes and still has improvements to make, of course, but if you’re a top club you would want someone like him. He’s very much a part of what we’re building here.

Holding on to key stars will be a huge part of Rodgers summer. Some players have been in such good form that they’ll undoubtedly attract interest from big clubs in the months to come.

As well as keeping the core of the team together, Celtic will now doubt be spending money of their own and The Mail say that the club will have up to £15m to spend on three to four players when the window opens.

That’s not an insignificant amount of money, especially in Scotland and supporters must be growing increasingly excited about what is in store over the next few months.

Rodgers’ priorities

In order to progress in Europe and improve on this season’s showing in the group stage of the UEFA Champions League, where they finished fourth, Rodgers needs to use that reported £15m wisely.

A central midfielder would be a good place to start to provide competition to his Scottish star trio of Stuart Armstrong, Scott Brown and Callum McGregor. Nir Bitton is only one of a few at the club this season who haven’t been stellar.

A defender would go down well with fans too. Kolo Toure is ageing and there are questions marks over Erik Sviatchenko after some shaky performances in 2017.

There’s also the matter of replacing Patrick Roberts. He has more assists than anyone at the club this season but will be returning to Manchester City in the summer. The Hoops must fill that hole with real quality.