It has been a period of contract renewal for a collection of players already at Celtic.

Despite only being in the second week of pre-season, the club has already negotiated the long-term futures of Kyogo Furuhashi, Daizen Maeda and captain Callum McGregor, who have all signed new deals with Celtic.

Brendan Rodgers will be delighted with the players he has been able to keep a hold of, with only Jota falling through the net so far. Despite this, the fee the Portuguese winger garnered will no doubt go a long way into what transpires in the transfer market this summer.

McGregor’s extension is an interesting one, given he was contracted until 2026 when he signed his previous deal under two years ago. This renewal almost directly followed his appointment as club captain, with Scott Brown departing for Aberdeen. With three years left to run on that original contract, why did McGregor get a five-year deal at this stage of proceedings?

It is no real surprise that McGregor is the highest earner at the club. His position as the captain further cements that fact. With the midfielder in the prime of his career and with previous interest from teams down south, there is no chance he would have taken a pay cut at this stage.

This in turn means that he will undoubtedly be on improved terms with the signing of this contract extension. Because of the aforementioned Kyogo and Maeda renewals along with McGregor, it is clear that there have been some changes in the financial backing of this particular department.

READ MORE: The Celtic contract extension that McGregor was destined for

These developments may indicate that there could be a potential adjustment in the wage structure at the football club, which would be beneficial for Celtic moving forward. By upping the wages of those already in the side, the hierarchy could be gearing up for the arrival of a higher calibre of player, paying a higher wage for a better quality of individual in the process. This bodes extremely well for the future.

In the past, player wages have been a real stumbling block for many individuals interested in joining the club. Celtic cannot realistically compete with what sides can offer down south or at the bigger teams across the continent. Still, the lure of playing in the Champions League with Celtic is an attractive proposition for players, one that will be even more so given the format change of the competition in the 2024-25 season.

There will be even more eyes on the competition thanks to the increased number of games. Instead of the six matches in the current format, all teams involved will take part in at least eight fixtures, allowing for more opportunities to impress suitors in the process.

If Celtic can qualify from this opening stage, then they would play at least 10 games in the competition, which would be a big incentive for those players looking to potentially transfer over. This increased involvement will make Celtic an attractive destination for future assets to join, so long as the club continue to win their domestic league and qualify for the competition in the process.

With the renewals of several key players now set in stone, it is the biggest indication yet that the club and its board are looking to take things more seriously on the European stage. By protecting their best assets with long-term deals, Celtic have forced any potential future suitors for their players to pay up or face not acquiring the player at all. By moving the needle just slightly on player wages, the club will make better profits in the long run through the higher fees in transfer outgoings.

On the recruitment side of proceedings, transfer targets that previously could have been viewed as unattainable due to the wages they would demand could now be available due to this perceived wage adjustment. All too often in the past, Celtic’s interest in a player could be well-known and out there in the media, only for a richer team to swoop in and seal the deal from under the club’s nose.

READ MORE: Celtic must not return to expensive loan deals as a transfer strategy

The hope now is that Celtic will be the club doing this to other teams. For far too long, the Hoops have masqueraded as a big club only to be bullied in the transfer market by teams that simply could offer bigger and better wages to their potential targets. Again, the hope is that those days are now over, with the board and hierarchy pulling out all of the stops to get the players that Rodgers can work with and improve further.

Celtic should aim to be the best of the rest when it comes to transfer destinations. Due to the league that they play in, they will struggle to compete with some of the more established names in the game, but there is no reason why the club cannot rival clubs of similar standing out with these areas.

With a manager like Rodgers at the helm - who has a proven track record of being able to produce and improve young talent already at the club and incoming additions – Celtic should be aiming to take the talents at the club to the next level, or bring some in who can.

It is time for the club to release their wage-shaped handbrake and entice the next generation of talent to ply their trade at Celtic Park.