Brendan Rodgers has revealed Australia World Cup youngster Daniel Arzani is set to join Celtic on loan.
The 19-year-old playmaker – who made three substitute appearances for the Socceroos in Russia – is ready to complete his transfer from Melbourne City to Manchester City before being sent to Celtic for an extended loan period.
Rodgers was asked about Arzani after Celtic began their quest for an eighth successive Scottish Premiership title with a convincing 3-1 home win over newly-promoted Livingston.
“He is, I believe, finalising his deal with Manchester City and in talks with ourselves to come in, as a possibility,” Rodgers said of Arzani. “He is another exciting young talent and we will see if we can get that organised in the next few days.
“It is not going to be (before) midweek. He has just flown in, he hasn’t trained. He has obviously been at the World Cup so he will need to be in for a couple of weeks before he gets up to speed.”
Rodgers was happy with his side’s performance on the day that 68-year-old Celtic great Danny McGrain unfurled the league flag, especially after the goalless draw against Rosenborg in Trondheim on Wednesday night which brought European progression.
“It was a very good performance from us on the back of game in the week,” said Rodgers, who revealed Olivier Ntcham is a doubt for the home Champions League third round qualifier against AEK Athens on Wednesday with an ankle knock.
“We played the game with good energy and good tempo. It is never easy when teams are sat in like that, deep, and credit to Livingston, they are very honest group of players, very spirited but some of our play today was exceptional.
“Our only disappointment was the goal at the end, we failed to adjust to Olivier being injured. But apart from that there were so many positives from today.
“Leigh Griffiths was excellent when he came on. He showed good movement, his touch was good as was his running behind. There were a lot of good movements. We looked a really creative team in the final third. I thought some of our play was excellent.”
Livingston’s new player/manager Kenny Miller was “really proud” of his side for “sticking to their task” against the reigning champions, getting their reward through Scott Robinson’s late goal.
The former Celtic and Rangers striker said: “You’ll see teams come here and, as in the past, they’ll go two or three nil down and just chuck it. Three can quickly become six.
“But I thought the lads stuck to the task very well, fought to the end, gave everything and left it all on the pitch. It’s in this team, that work ethic, that togetherness. It’s just trying to harness it and build on it.
“It was a real test and we will have learned a lot from today. I certainly did. Everything I believed was in this team is in it. I’m really proud. They never let their heads drop.”