Kolo Toure, set for Celtic after Liverpool stint, to bring ‘big experience’ says Rodgers
Kolo Toure should be confirmed as a Celtic player on Sunday, according to manager Brendan Rodgers
The former Liverpool defender, 35, was at Parkhead to watch the 1-1 draw with Leicester City in the International Champions Cup clash, where the visitors emerged triumphant after a 6-5 penalty shoot-out, after having a medical earlier in the day with a year-long deal on the table.
Rodgers, however, said it was unlikely that the former Manchester City and Arsenal centre-back would be in the Celtic squad who will fly out to Kazakhstan on Monday for their Champions League qualifier against FC Astana.
The former Liverpool manager is still working on bringing in another “wildcard” player who could be in the squad for Kazakhstan.
Speaking about Toure’s impending arrival, he said: “It should be complete by tomorrow.
“I brought him into Liverpool to add that bit of experience and help to the centre-halves there at the time and I think you’ve seen from his impact there and in particular last season, he was a very important player for Jurgen (Klopp) towards the end of the season and played in the Europa League final.
“He was outstanding for me in the big games when I was there.
“He looks after himself, he is a wonderful professional with big experience and I just think with a lot of young players in our squad he can really help them and be of assistance to Scott Brown, who is a wonderful leader.
“It will be nice for Scott to have someone behind him who has that real big-game experience and he could do very well for us.
“I would think that Wednesday would be too soon.
“I would be more looking towards the weekend and some game time against Barcelona to assess where he is at, before the following week. All being well, he will get a good week’s training.”
Asked if there was a chance to bring a new player in who will go to Kazakh capital Astana with his squad, Rodgers said: “That’s something that we need to wait and see.
“We have some work going on behind the scenes, hopefully we can get some business done.
“It is going to be tight, it is Saturday evening and we leave Monday afternoon.”
Riyad Mahrez, named man of the match, opened the scoring at the start of the second half with a wonderful curled shot before Celtic’s 20-year-old Irish defender Eoghan O’Connell levelled just before the hour mark.
A raft of second-half substitutions highlighted the friendly aspect of the encounter and with no more goals it went to spot-kicks, a rule of the competition.
For Celtic Nadir Ciftci, Stefan Johansen, Scott Allan, O’Connell and Ryan Christie scored before James Forrest had his effort saved by Kasper Schmeichel.
Christian Fuchs, Marcin Wasilewski, Danny Drinkwater, Ben Chilwell and Shinji Okazaki had all scored for Leicester before Daniel Amartey’s success with the sixth secured the win.
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Published: July 24, 2016 04:00 AM