Manager Brendan Rodgers strengthened his defensive options on Thursday with the arrival of 26-year-old Liverpool defender Nat Phillips on loan until January. With Celtic shorn of options in that area of the team due to Maik Nawrocki, Cameron Carter-Vickers and Stephen Welsh all being injured, the former Stuttgart and Bournemouth player could make his debut against Rangers on Sunday. Celtic, however, may not be finished with the replenishment of their defensive options, with ex-Chelsea, Southampton and Leicester left-back Ryan Bertrand linked with the club. The England internationalist is a free agent after leaving the Foxes last month.
Celtic are also working on a deal to sign Benfica attacking midfielder Paulo Bernardo on loan for the season. The 21-year-old is not in the first-team picture at the Lisbon club and they are willing to let him leave this term. There is also hope from Celtic that they can agree a new contract with forward Liel Abada.
Reports on Thursday evening claim that Celtic have rejected a £10million offer from English Championship team Leeds for their own midfielder Matt O’Riley. The Dane has admirers both south of the border and in Europe and Celtic’s resolve could well be tested once more before the transfer window closes on Thursday. Fellow midfielder Ismaila Soro is more likely to leave, with Beitar Jerusalem a potential destination, while out-of-favour striker Albian Ajeti is also close to departing, with Turkish side Gaziantep the favourites for his signature. There is also interest in wide forward Sead Haksabanovic, with PAOK linked with him.