Brendan Rodgers is not surprised by Kilmarnock’s flying start to the season as he prepares to renew rivalries with the manager who posed him the biggest challenge during his first spell as Celtic manager.

Former Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes has had the chance to reshape his squad ahead of his second full season in charge at Rugby Park.

McInnes’ Aberdeen side finished as runners-up to Celtic in both of their title-winning campaigns under Rodgers during his first spell in charge, and in three of the five cup finals he won.

Rodgers was therefore not fazed as Killie started their cinch Premiership term with a win over Rangers and a draw at Hearts.

“It doesn’t surprise me,” he said. “Obviously he did a fantastic job at Aberdeen and when I was up here first time they were always very competitive, always very tough games.

“He got promoted with Kilmarnock and now he is looking to establish them in the top division, and after that first season he is putting his own stamp on it. He has been able to refresh the squad, get the profile of players that he wants in.

“I watched the game against Rangers and they did very well. Derek’s teams are always very well organised, some of the most competitive in the country, and he is a very experienced and excellent manager. So I anticipate a tough game for sure.

“They are very difficult to play against, that mixture of man-to-man and zonal and they defended deep.

“The surface always plays a part but we can’t have any excuse going into the game.

“We are in the competition to try and win it and if you are going to do that, you have to beat good teams and overcome difficult opponents.”

A 3-0 Hampden win over the Dons in the League Cup final in November 2016 marked Rodgers’ first major trophy of his managerial career and he hopes to follow that success to kick-start his second spell in Glasgow.

“I enjoyed that side of it when I was here last time, there is something to play for early on which is great,” he said.

“So having that opportunity to get to a final early on in the season is very good.

“We have to work hard to get there, you have to earn the right.”

Aberdeen manager Barry Robson claimed it was a case of job done after his side booked their place in the quarter-finals of the Viaplay Cup with a 2-1 win over Stirling.

The Dons boss alluded to last season’s embarrassing Scottish Cup defeat against non-league Darvel when insisting the main objective had been progressing in the tournament.

But the Pittodrie outfit were made to battle hard for the victory after Greig Spence’s late strike for Stirling set up a grandstand finish – just when Aberdeen looked comfortable following goals either side of the break from Bojan Miovski and Leighton Clarkson.

With attention now turning to Thursday’s Europa League play-off against Swedish outfit Hacken, Robson said: “I knew how difficult it would be and we let the players know that.

“This club’s had a few bad results over the last couple of years and we didn’t want that to happen again.

“But we managed to come here and win the game. I’m just glad we dealt with it.

“Credit to Stirling, they’ve been in great form and we knew they would bring everything to the game and they put on a really good show. They should be proud of how they played.

“But my main aim was to get through. It was about playing a strong team and winning.

“The players showed a good mentality as cup football is always tough. People wanted to see an upset and rightly so, that’s the magic of the cup.

“But we are through and now we focus on Thursday night.”

He added: “I have five reports on Hacken and I will watch three live games. I have had scouts over in Sweden watching them and getting every detail.

“We need to know what they are all about and we will. They are a good side, it will be difficult and let’s go and see what we can do there.

“Credit to all the Scottish clubs for performing well in Europe this week and hopefully we can do the same.

“We are trying to build something here and we will prepare well this week.”

Stirling Albion manager Darren Young insisted his side should have had a late penalty when Ross Davidson was taken out after shooting over the crossbar in the 90th minute.

But he was proud of the way his League One team pushed their Premiership visitors all the way in a narrow defeat.

He said: “It was a stonewaller. I think if it was outside the box, he (referee David Munro) would probably have given it.

“He (Davidson) has got the shot away and he’s taken him out – he’s absolutely nowhere near the ball.

“I’ve seen penalties given for it and obviously tonight we’ve seen it not given. These things happen.

“I think we were in the ascendancy in the last 10, 15 minutes. We were pressing, we were pushing and we were very unlucky not to get an equaliser.

“There’s loads to take from the game. We pushed a full-time team and they’re going to play in Europe on Thursday night, and we pushed them all the way.”

Derek McInnes remains adamant that Kilmarnock were denied a penalty against Celtic in the ViaPlay Cup last season as he prepares to host the Hoops in the last-16 of the competition on Sunday.

The Parkhead side were leading by an early Daizen Maeda opener in the semi-final at Hampden Park in January as the match entered six added minutes added time.

A clumsy challenge by Celtic substitute Giorgos Giakoumakis on Killie defender Joe Wright inside the box was then ignored by referee Willie Collum.

Giakoumakis then tapped in a second to clinch a spot in the final for the Hoops with Killie boss McInnes saying afterwards: “Joe Wright was manhandled. There is no way Giakoumakis can get to the ball but he has come through him, two arms round him. It is a penalty kick.”

It was a self-aware McInnes who revisited the incident at his media conference at Rugby Park on Thursday.

He said: “Last season at Hampden we felt really aggrieved that we didn’t get the chance to take it to extra-time.

“Nothing will change my mind that we should have had a penalty kick in the last minute of the game.

“Celtic were firm favourites and it is not to say they wouldn’t have gone on to win it in extra-time but we did deserve the chance to go to extra-time.

“I believe the referee was told it was maybe worth having a look at and the referee thought he seen it for what it was, he thought it was a defender trying to buy a penalty.

“But maybe he should have been told to see the incident – here’s me, let it go Derek – he should have been made to go and see the incident and if he still arrives at the same conclusion then it is down to the referee’s perception but for me it was a penalty.

“We did a lot right in the game, we carried a threat, we played with two strikers, we tried to impose ourselves on the game and that was at Hampden.

“But you have to do so much right in the game against them to try to limit the opportunities and get the balance between defending and attacking.

“Obviously, it is now a cup tie here. We didn’t offer up anything in the two (league) games against Celtic here (5-0 and 4-1 defeats) and it is important to show, as we did against Rangers (1-0 win on opening day of league season), that there is a different side to us this season.

“We feel we are a team that can win a cup. We have to feel that and say that.

“Obviously the draw is tough, we are up against a team who have dominated cup competitions in the last wee while so it is important for us to see the opportunity that is there.

“If we can win this one it can set us up nicely for the rest of the competition.”

Celtic midfielder Matt O’Riley aims to become more prolific in front of goal this season.

The 22-year-old Denmark international feels he should have notched more than four last term, but he has already found his scoring touch this time round by netting in both of his team’s league matches so far.

“I haven’t set myself any targets in terms of numbers,” said O’Riley. “Last season I kind of did but at the same time I’m quite young so some of it is trial and error.

“I feel better when I’m coming from a place where I can express myself from quite a free standpoint rather than setting a target and having to go for that because if you’re not getting close to it, you might get a bit of stress over it and lose a bit of calmness and composure.

“I haven’t set myself any targets but do think I can get myself more goals? I’d like to think so. Last season I should have got more goals, I need to be calmer when I’m in those areas.”

O’Riley has made a bright start to the campaign and is enjoying working under new manager Brendan Rodgers.

“I don’t think anything has changed massively, to be honest,” he said. “Maybe I feel better from a mental perspective, which always helps. I’m feeling really good in general.

“We’ve got a slightly new style and my role has changed slightly, but nothing too crazy, I’ve just got myself into the right positions and stayed calm and that’s what it has come down to.

“The manager’s style of management has been good. If there is something that I need to work on or that needs to be addressed then he will pick me up on it and we’ll go through it, especially on the training pitch.

“The other day he pulled me in and went through some little details that can help me. I think he’s good with most players in dealing with them from a personal perspective. Naturally that is going to help on the pitch because you will feel slightly better.

“I think I have been fortunate to have had pretty good managers thus far and feel like I am developing every season.”

Celtic turn their attention to the Viaplay Cup this weekend as they kick off their defence of the trophy away to Kilmarnock, who have started their cinch Premiership campaign impressively by taking four points out of a possible six from matches against Rangers and Hearts.

“It’s definitely a tough draw,” said O’Riley. “Respectfully, if the game is at home it’s probably easier than playing away because it is a tough place to go and we know that from past experiences.

“Other teams have also found it hard there. We have enough to win the game but it’s going to be one we have to be more than ready for.

“We always expect a tough test at Rugby Park and we need to be as prepared as we can be. Last season when we won 5-0 there we took our chances really well and that will be really important again.

“If you score the first goal at a place like that, it helps a lot but at the same time if they score first then I think we have enough in our toolbox to still win the game.”

Brazilian striker Danilo insists there is more to come from Rangers as he basked in the glory of his first goal in the 4-0 home win over Livingston on Saturday.

Some pressure was on the Govan outfit after they lost their cinch Premiership opener at Kilmarnock last weekend but the afternoon started well, with Sam Lammers driving in the opener after 10 minutes.

After that, however, the home side found it tough to get past the well-organised Livi defence.

However, the increasing tension inside Ibrox was alleviated in the 78th minute when left-back Borna Barisic threw a cross to the back post and Danilo, the 24-year-old signed from Feyenoord, leapt to head past Lions goalkeeper Shamal George.

Rangers powered through the final stages and there were further goals from substitutes Abdallah Sima and Kieran Dowell which put gloss on the scoreline and set Rangers up for their Champions League third-round qualifier against Servette on Tuesday night, where they will try to defend a 2-1 lead from the first leg.

Danilo told RangersTV it was an “amazing” feeling to open his account for the Light Blues as he looked forward to further improvements.

He said: “We had a good impact from the Servette game and we showed again we are a really strong team.

“The lads played really well and we showed how good we can be.

“There are still things that we can improve on. The team is totally new but the more we play together the more we will get to know each other and get used to each other.

“We played really good and the boys who came on made a good impact to really help us to improve our game even more.

“It is great to see everyone is in good shape and wants to win, it is really good for us.”

Ranger boss Michael Beale revealed midfielder John Lundstram will not make the trip to Switzerland due to personal reasons.

Livi boss David Martindale thought the scoreline was a bit harsh on his side and noted the strength in depth of the Ibrox side, who brought on Rabbi Matondo, Dowell, Lundstram, Sima and debutant Dujon Sterling to great effect in the later stages of the game.

He said: “I thought Rangers’ substitutions really helped them. They brought a lot of pace and power on to the park. Look at Dowell’s finish.

“That really, really helped Rangers with the way they were playing, they started knocking it about and combinations and rotations were coming together more than earlier.”

Rangers left themselves with work to do to see off Servette after a narrow 2-1 win over the Swiss side in the first leg of their Champions League third qualifying round at Ibrox.

Skipper James Tavernier scored a penalty in the sixth minute before striker Cyriel Dessers knocked in a second eight minutes later for his first Gers goal.

The Light Blues were in command but, just before the break, Servette attacker Chris Bedia reduced the deficit from the spot after the VAR intervened to flag up a Dessers handball.

Servette’s hapless David Douline, who conceded the penalty for a foul on Todd Cantwell, was sent off in the 59th minute for picking up the second of two yellow cards for a foul on the Light Blues midfielder to leave his side with 10 men for more than half an hour.

However, the resolute visitors prevented further damage and will fancy their chances of turning the tie around in Switzerland next Tuesday night.

James Tavernier admits Rangers’ opening day defeat to Kilmarnock at Rugby Park was “unacceptable” as he looks for a response in Europe in midweek.

The Light Blues were under some pressure after Celtic began the defence of their cinch Premiership title with a 4-2 win over Ross County on Saturday lunchtime but Michael Beale’s new-look side failed to get going.

Killie midfielder Brad Lyons scored the only goal of the game  after 65 minutes to put an early dent in the Gers title hopes as they quickly turn their attention to the first leg of their Champions League qualifier against Servette at Ibrox on Wednesday night.

The Light Blues skipper told RangersTV: “It was disappointing.

“Obviously to come away with zero points is unacceptable for us as a team, no matter what opposition it is, it is unacceptable for us as a team to come to a place like this and not create the chances that we wanted to and obviously to lose the game the way we did.

“But obviously it is the first game of the season. We didn’t want to start the season off like this but we have to learn from this and we’ve got a massive game on Wednesday.

“As players we have to pick ourselves up.

“We have to brush ourselves down and put in a performance that not only us as a team accept but put on a performance that the fans accept as well.”

Beale is also looking for early redemption following a damaging defeat. He said: “Really, really disappointing day, it couldn’t be any more disappointing.

“We expected a hell of a lot more, me, the players, the staff, and most importantly, the fans so we will apologise to them and we’ll come back strong in midweek.”

Killie boss Derek McInnes was delighted with the win but was wary of extrapolating too much from it in terms of the rest of the season.

He said: “The time to judge and reflect on the merits of the squad will be at the end of the season.

“We’ve tried to bring in a level of player as there was a lot of work needing done.

“A lot of good players and people have left the building and it was with a heavy heart that some moved on.

“But there was scope there to try to change the squad. We’ve brought 11 in and we’d still like to do one or two more.

“I’d like to bring in a bit more firepower but we had more senior ones coming back like Rory McKenzie and Kyle Vassell.

“Joe Wright should be part of that next week too so we’ve got decent strength there when everyone is fit and available.

“But I’d still like to carry a bit more of a punch at the top end of the pitch. If we can replicate what we served up on Saturday, I’ll be encouraged.”

Chief executive Neil Doncaster has hailed the Scottish Professional Football League’s multi-year extension to its partnership with Loch Lomond Group.

The partnership between the SPFL and Vodka brand Glen’s owner, The Loch Lomond Group, started in 2020.

Glen’s Vodka, as well as several other of Loch Lomond’s Scotch whisky brands, will continue to work closely with the SPFL and many of its clubs across both league and cup competitions.

Doncaster said: “It is fantastic news to be able to announce this extension to our relationship with Glen’s Vodka and Loch Lomond Group.

“This partnership, with a growing and much-loved Scottish brand, will continue to see us working with our friends at Loch Lomond to provide new commercial opportunities, including special edition products, for a number of SPFL clubs.

“This contract extension comes on the back of record fee payments to the 42 SPFL clubs announced in the past year.

“Alongside our recently-extended agreements with Sky Sports, BBC Scotland and Infront, our partnership with Loch Lomond Group will play a major role in strengthening the financial future of the SPFL and our 42 Member Clubs.”

Glen’s Vodka will have exclusive presenting rights to each division’s manager of the month and manager of the season awards for the duration of the partnership.

The sponsorship will also encompass Loch Lomond’s wider, award-winning portfolio, including its premium Scotch malt whisky brands, Loch Lomond and Glen Scotia and its Ben Lomond premium Scottish Gin.

Colin Matthews, CEO of Loch Lomond Group, said: “Since 2018, Loch Lomond Whiskies have enjoyed great success as a sponsor of The Open, the world’s greatest and most prestigious golf tournament.

“But football is the number one sport in Scotland and, with the fantastic start made by the men’s national team to qualifying for the 2024 European Championship, this is a great time to support Scottish football and its clubs.

“The teams in the SPFL are a key part of Scotland’s cultural fabric and Glen’s vodka is an award-winning and iconic Scottish brand, so it was a no-brainer to continue to give our backing to Scotland’s best-loved national sport and all of the teams.”

Hearts have completed the signing of centre-back Frankie Kent from Peterborough after fending off an attempt to hijack the deal by a cinch Premiership rival.

The 27-year-old former Arsenal youth player has signed a three-year contract after Peterborough received an undisclosed fee.

Hearts say they saw off some “stiff, late opposition” to sign the former Colchester player, who joined Posh in 2019 and made 170 appearances, helping the club to promotion to the Championship in 2021 and the League One play-offs last season.

Sporting director Joe Savage told the Hearts website: “We’ve said all along that we’ll be patient to make sure we get the right players in and Frankie certainly fits the bill.

“It’s also pleasing that he remained committed to joining us despite another Scottish club trying to get involved late on and I suppose we should take it as a compliment that our recruitment strategy is being mimicked elsewhere.”

Technical director Steven Naismith added: “We identified Frankie as a player who could come in and improve the team so we’re delighted to get him in.

“He was a big part of Peterborough’s recent success in winning promotion and we believe that he can make himself a success at Tynecastle Park.

“He is an aggressive centre-half in the way that he defends and starts phases of play and his leadership skills stand out.

“He was very keen to come to Hearts and take the next step in his career, so it’s a great move all round.”

Michael Beale hopes he is closing in on another two additions to his Rangers squad.

The Gers boss, who has signed seven new faces this summer, was speaking after the Light Blues went down 2-1 to Newcastle in Allan McGregor’s testimonial at Ibrox.

The visitors took the lead in the 16th minute through Miguel Almiron, but in the 64th minute Dutch attacker Sam Lammers levelled for the home side with an Ibrox debut goal.

However, with three minutes remaining, Scotland Under-21 defender Ashby headed over McGregor’s replacement, home debutant Jack Butland, for the winner.

Beale was asked about Feyenoord’s Brazilian attacker Danilo and Ecuadorian midfielder Jose Cifuentes from Los Angeles FC after the game.

He said: “Danilo is a player that we like, I think a lot of people like.

“He’s not the only forward we are talking to, but he’s the one that’s out there.

“Cifuentes is again a player we like and we hope that’s one that can be moved on.

“I think we need to bring in one more midfielder. He’s powerful, he works the corridor, he can play deep or he can play as an eight.”

Asked if he hoped players would be in before their first league game against Kilmarnock on August 5, Beale said: “Yes, definitely.

“You can see we did a lot of our work early. The boys have only been back two weeks and tonight was our first game in front of the public.

“I won’t put a number on how many will come in, the market is moving quite quickly.

“We have real set targets and we’ve managed to get some done. I am really pleased with the work we have done.

“We will see some outs in the coming days as well. We are ahead of schedule.”.

On that note Beale was also asked about midfielder Glen Kamara, who has been linked with Leeds.

He said: “There have been quite a few enquiries for Glen. We gave him an extended break due to his international stuff in the summer and unfortunately he has been ill for the last few days.

“He didn’t come to Germany with us, but he’s due to return to training in the coming days. That will be ongoing, the speculation.”

On Scott Wright, linked with a move to Turkey, the former QPR boss said: “Scotty this summer has had one or two enquiries. He’s at an age where he wants to go and play regularly.

“I can’t guarantee that – he’ll have to fight for his minutes like everyone else here.

“I’m not willing to guarantee anyone that they’re going to play and I think he’s at an age where he’s good enough to play and he probably feels that he’s spent a lot of time here trying to get into the team.

“We’re off on Wednesday which gives him a chance to speak to one or two people and maybe make some decisions for himself. But there’s nothing guaranteed on that one.”

Steven MacLean admits he is “very close” to his first summer signing at St Johnstone amid reports that goalkeeper Dimitar Mitov is on his way to McDiarmid Park.

The 26-year-old Bulgarian, who was most recently at Cambridge, has been heavily linked with a move to the Perth club.

Speaking ahead of the ViaPlay Cup opener away to League Two side Stenhousemuir on Saturday – Alloa, Ayr and Stirling are also in the group – MacLean would not be drawn on speculation linking him with Mitov but said: “Ideally I would like to have a couple of more players in but I am comfortable with what I have got and really looking forward to the game.

“We are very close to one. I will let you speculate.

“Hopefully that will be done soon and other things are happening.

“We maybe missed out on one yesterday, he chose to go somewhere else but things are starting to move.

“You can see targets that we had that were maybe a ‘no’ are starting to come around. It is getting there. But we still want quality.”

On the subject of goalkeepers, MacLean admitted competition was needed for 22-year-old Ross Sinclair, who was on loan to Montrose for the first part of last season.

The former Saints striker and coach said: “I have always said it. I want to bring in a keeper to challenge Ross and push him.

“Ross is a top keeper and hopefully will be a St Johnstone player for a long time but it is important that you have competition for places.”

MacLean is looking for a lively start to the season from his side.

St Johnstone drew their first two ViaPlay Cup ties last season against Annan and Queen of the South and failed to get out the group, setting the tone for a season of struggle which ended with MacLean taking over from Callum Davidson in April and steering the Perth club away from relegation.

He said: “It is massive for the club that we get out of this group stage.

“I want to win the four games and top of the group and be seeded as well. Every game in its own right will be difficult.

“It is the old saying that for the lower league teams, games against us will be their cup final and they will work that bit harder so it is important that we have a good mind-set and good attitude and go into the games positively.”

MacLean revealed striker Chris Kane will miss the season opener with an ankle injury that requires a scan.

He said: “He rolled his ankle and there is a little bit of discomfort. We have got him a scan to clear up any doubt and hopefully it comes back clear.”

Matt O’Riley revealed Brendan Rodgers has told his Celtic squad to consign last season’s domestic treble to history to focus on more success.

The Hoops completed the clean sweep of trophies in Scotland for the eighth time before popular boss Ange Postecoglou stunned the fans when he departed for Tottenham.

Rodgers has returned to Parkhead for a second spell as boss, having won seven trophies out of seven in his first stint in charge between 2016 and 2019 before leaving for Leicester, but, according to Hoops midfielder O’Riley, he is clearing the way for a fresh start to next season.

Following a tough training session at Lennoxtown, the 22-year-old said on Celtic’s official Twitter account: “It is an amazing achievement,  we’ve kind of broke that record again, which is a massive, massive credit to us and the fans of course.

“It has definitely sunk in, but at the same time Brendan has come in already and basically told us that it’s done now, isn’t it?

“So obviously, it’s there, it’s in the history books, but at the same time now we’ve got another season to kind of do it again.”

The former Fulham and MK Dons player is appreciating a more hands-on managerial approach from the Northern Irishman.

He said: “So far it’s been amazing. Everyone seems quite upbeat and I think he brings that just in terms of how he goes about things.

“He’s not reluctant to come and sit with us at lunch and just have a chat which I think is quite nice.

“So it’s nice, refreshing kind of change in a sense just to have a bit more openness about the place so I’m looking forward to that.”

O’Riley is relishing the upcoming trip to Japan, where preparations for the new season will continue and which will also provide a homecoming for Celtic’s Japanese contingent of Kyogo Furuhashi, Yuki Kobayashi, Tomoki Iwata, Daizen Maeda and Reo Hatate.

O’Riley said: “It’s supposed to be quite humid and sticky, so it’s going to be quite tough to train in it, but I think that’s probably the perfect preparation for us going into the season.

“I think we get a day off as well, which we’re spending in Osaka, which I’ve heard is a really nice place.

“So I’m looking forward to that. And, yeah, I’ll be sure to ask Japanese boys for some advice what to do today.”

Partick Thistle have lost another three key players who took them to within a missed penalty of a return to the cinch Premiership and saw one of them quickly join a Championship rival.

The club confirmed that captain Ross Docherty, fellow midfielder Kyle Turner and defender Kevin Holt had chosen to leave the club.

Dundee United later announced the signing of Docherty on a two-year deal.

The triple blow follows forward Scott Tiffoney’s departure to Dundee days after Thistle’s play-off defeat against Ross County.

Thistle manager Kris Doolan told the club’s official website: “We made the best offers we could to keep Ross, Kevin and Kyle at the club, however there has been strong interest elsewhere, understandably so given recent performances.

“They – and Scott Tiffoney – have each chosen to pursue opportunities beyond Firhill which is their right and they leave with my very best wishes having served the club so well.

“I can assure fans I have been working around the clock over the past two weeks on securing deals with players who want to play for Partick Thistle next season and we will be able to begin announcing some of those this week.

“The response from Jags fans over the past fortnight or so has been nothing short of remarkable, in particular season ticket sales, which is a huge boost and makes me even more proud to be Partick Thistle manager.”

The club added that discussions remained ongoing with other players whose contracts have expired.

United manager Jim Goodwin expressed his delight with the signing of 30-year-old central midfielder Docherty.

“Last season, Ross was one of the outstanding midfielders in the Championship and his consistent level of performances with Partick Thistle caught our eye,” Goodwin told his club’s website.

“He is exactly the type of player required to succeed in this league – he’s very comfortable both with and without the ball, very fit and brings additional experience to the squad.

“I have no doubt he will fit in seamlessly with the group of players we are building together ahead of an exciting season.”

Brendan Rodgers declared his return to Celtic “a very simple decision” but he faced an instant reminder of the work needed to appease some fans who were unhappy with the manner of his exit.

Celtic confirmed Rodgers had signed a three-year contract to replace Ange Postecoglou as manager, four years and four months after his sudden departure to Leicester after winning seven out of seven domestic trophies with the Hoops.

The North Curve Celtic Twitter account, which represents the Green Brigade and other members of the standing section at Celtic Park, soon posted a photograph of the banner they displayed at Tynecastle 24 hours after he left for Leicester in February 2019.

The sign read: “You traded immortality for mediocrity. Never a Celt. Always a fraud.”

Rodgers said on the club’s website: “I am really delighted to return to Celtic and I am hugely excited by this great opportunity. When I was given the privilege of being asked to join the club again, it was a very simple decision for me and my family.

“We have enjoyed some great times at Celtic before and this will be my goal again, to deliver good football, ensure we have a team we all love to watch and ultimately bring more success to our fans.

“Ange has done some brilliant work across the last two years and I will be doing all I can to maintain Celtic’s momentum as we face into all our domestic and European challenges. We have a hugely impressive and talented group of players and staff at the club, and I am really looking forward to meeting up with them all and then getting straight down to work.”

Celtic confirmed their coaching staff underneath Rodgers will remain unchanged with John Kennedy and Gavin Strachan both staying despite reported interest from Postecoglou to take them to Tottenham, who are now expected to appoint Rodgers’ long-time assistant, Chris Davies.

Rodgers had previously attempted to take former Scotland and Celtic defender Kennedy with him to Leicester.

“I wanted John to be with me as we move forward,” Rodgers said. “He is a very talented coach, someone I know well and respect and he will be very important to myself and our players.

“The club is in fantastic condition at all levels and I would like to thank the board for putting their trust in me to take the team forward. We will work very closely together as we strive to bring that success to our supporters.”

Principal shareholder Dermot Desmond is said to have taken a key role in persuading Rodgers to return to Glasgow.

Desmond said: “Our aim at Celtic will always be to bring individuals of the highest calibre to the club to achieve our objectives, and in appointing Brendan we believe we have again brought that quality to the club.

“Brendan is a very talented manager, he has huge experience at the highest levels and is a man who knows how to win and do so in style. As we enter another exciting period for the club I am sure he will tackle the opportunities ahead with his characteristic focus, drive and determination.

“We have all enjoyed great success across recent years, Brendan himself being a huge part of that. I know Brendan is determined to deliver again for our supporters and collectively, the board, management, players and staff will support him in this aim.”

Rodgers led Leicester to an FA Cup triumph, two fifth-placed finishes in the Premier League which saw them miss out on Champions Leaguer qualification at the final hurdle, and the semi-finals of the Europa Conference League.

He had them in the top half of the Premier League for four seasons but failure to recruit players last summer set them up for a difficult campaign which ended with relegation after he was sacked in April.

Celtic chief executive Michael Nicholson said: “Having spoken to Brendan and discussed the club’s strategy and objectives with him, I can see the passion he has for taking the club forward positively and building on what we have achieved.”

Rodgers appeared to have a difficult relationship at times with Nicholson’s predecessor, Peter Lawwell, speaking out about his frustrations over the club’s transfer approach during a protracted and failed bid to sign John McGinn from Hibernian during his final season at Parkhead, and displaying his ambivalence to the club’s signing of Marian Shved weeks before his departure.

Lawwell is now Celtic chairman and spoke enthusiastically about Rodgers’ return.

“Through the process of identifying the new Celtic manager, it was clear that Brendan was the outstanding choice and we are absolutely delighted that we have appointed him on a long-term contract,” he said.

“We wanted a proven winner and that’s what Brendan is, and myself and everyone else at the club look forward to working with him again to continue to drive Celtic forward.

“Brendan is a top-quality manager. He has delivered before for Celtic and we are sure through his many qualities, he will do so again.”

Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou and striker Kyogo Furuhashi have enjoyed a double success at the PFA Scotland Awards.

Postecoglou was named Manager of the Year by his peers at the ceremony on Sunday evening, during which a special merit award went to former St Mirren, Aberdeen and Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson.

The Australian was honoured after guiding his club to back-to-back top-flight titles as they chase a domestic treble.

He saw off competition from fellow Premiership boss Stephen Robinson of St Mirren, Dunfermline’s James McPake and Stirling Albion’s Darren Young.

Kyogo took the cinch Premiership Player of the Year title after scoring 30 goals in all competitions, 24 of them in the league to sit at the top of the charts.

He was one of three Bhoys men nominated along with Japanese team-mate Reo Hatate and last season’s winner Callum McGregor after the club surged to a second successive title, with Motherwell striker Kevin van Veen completing the shortlist.

In addition, Celtic frontman Jota claimed the Goal of the Season prize for his sublime chip in the 4-0 home victory over Old Firm rivals Rangers in September.

The Ibrox club’s midfielder Malik Tillman, who has scored 10 league goals this season, was named Young Player of the Year.

Tillman was nominated along with Celtic duo Liel Abada – last year’s winner – and Matt O’Riley joined by Rangers midfielder Malik Tillman and Albion Rovers’ Charlie Reilly, who scored 24 goals despite the Cliftonhill side finishing bottom of League Two.

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