BRENDAN RODGERS has admitted that the current Celtic squad is weaker in quality than the one he inherited from Ange Postecoglou, and that he needs to add that to his ranks before the transfer window shuts a week from today.

Rodgers has lost key players to transfers, such as winger Jota, and others to injury, such as mainstay defender Cameron Carter-Vickers.

Pundit and former Celtic striker Chris Sutton surmised this week that those omissions from last season’s title-winning outfit have left Rodgers with a weakened roster of players at his disposal, and the Celtic manager found it hard to make an argument against his point.

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“Listen, I’m not going to beat about the bush when I’m talking about the bush,” Rodgers said.

“The squad is not as strong. That’s the reality. We’ve lost top players and we’ve got players out for a period of time, so I can’t disagree with that.

“The point I will make is that we will work very, very hard here to try to improve the squad. There’s a lot of work going on behind the scenes within the recruitment and trying to identify players that fit into the model. That will continue.

“But there is no doubt that we lost a matchwinner in Jota, we lost Carl Starfelt who was a regular player in the squad.

“You then look at Cameron Carter-Vickers being out, a mainstay of the team over the last couple of years. (Reo) Hatate too. Ok, he’s not quite been at the level that he has been at, but I’m pretty sure he would get to that very soon.

“So, all of a sudden you are missing players of that quality. So, we have to improve, and that is what we will look to do.”

While Rodgers is happy with the overall depth of his squad, which has been bolstered by the club’s summer business so far, he is hoping to bring in players who can immediately impact his starting XI, and preferably before the visit to face Rangers at Ibrox next week, rather than in January.

“Hopefully, that would help us,” he said. “We’ll certainly look and see what we can do before the window shuts.

“I would say we have strengthened the squad [in terms of depth]. It is the team we need to improve. There has been a lot of really good work done on bringing in Yang and Odin (Holm) and all these guys. Who will end up, I’m pretty sure, being very good players for the club.

"But what we want to do is improve the team. That is probably where it is weaker.

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“With the squad, really good work has been done bringing in players that can thicken that up. That was on the basis we also could improve on what was here.

“We didn’t anticipate Jota leaving or where we are at. But it’s about getting the next ones in.”

Rodgers is particularly concerned about his centre-back options after revealing that Carter-Vickers, Maik Nawrocki and Stephen Welsh all face lengthy absences.

“The ward is pretty full at the minute!” he said.

“Sometimes you have that spell, and it’s not great news on our three centre-halfs. Carter-Vickers, Maik Nawrocki and Welshy will probably be up to eight weeks.

“Maik done his hamstring right in the last 10 seconds of the game [against Kilmarnock], Cam is going to be out a bit longer than we hoped for, he had a scan down in London this week, and Welshy has just had his operation.

“So, those three being out is obviously a big disappointment for me.”

Meanwhile, Rodgers was coy on the potential arrival of one reported signing target, Honduran winger Luis Palma.

"I know of the player but there is nothing to confirm," he said.