MX23RW : Saturday, October 20 07:13:17

Brendan Rodgers rules out Mikey Johnston exit

Rodgers rules out Mikey Johnston exit
© Reuters
Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers intends to keep Mikey Johnston at Paradise for the 2018-19 season following his recent breakthrough.

Brendan Rodgers has insisted that young midfielder Mikey Johnston will be staying at Celtic next season, despite rumoured interest from Hibernian.

The 19-year-old was said to have been eyed up by the Hibees as part of a player-plus-cash deal that would see the youngster join on loan and John McGinn head the opposite way on a permanent transfer.

Celtic boss Rodgers is not considering a temporary exit for Johnston for the time being, however, with the winger in contention to feature against Alashkert in the second leg of the Hoops' first qualifying-round tie.

"He is very much staying here at Celtic at this point in time," Rodgers told reporters ahead of Wednesday evening's match at Parkhead. "He is an exciting young talent at 19 years of age.

"He is learning the other side of the game in terms of the tactical idea of pressing and how to work and how to recover but there is no doubt he is a special talent.

"So at this moment in time he is very much in my plans. We need to develop him, get him some games and if that changes there is a number of options with teams that would like to take him, but at this moment he stays."

Celtic are rumoured to have had two bids rejected from Hibernian for Scotland international midfielder McGinn.

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Hibernian's John McGinn in action with Dundee United's Paul Paton and Ryan Dow on April 16, 2016
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Hibs reject second Celtic bid for McGinn?
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Hearts8521125717
2Celtic8512134916
3Hibernian84311861215
4Livingston843185315
5RangersRangers84221881014
6Kilmarnock8422106414
7Aberdeen833297212
8St Johnstone8233616-109
9Hamilton AcademicalHamilton8215614-87
10Motherwell8134711-46
11St Mirren8125416-125
12Dundee8017316-131

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