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Saturday 18 November 2017

Rodgers open to possibility of keeping on loan City star Roberts

Patrick Roberts celebrates putting Celtic into the lead against St Johnstone. Photo: PA
Patrick Roberts celebrates putting Celtic into the lead against St Johnstone. Photo: PA

Brendan Rodgers admitted he would be open to the possibility of keeping Patrick Roberts at Celtic after the winger scored a double in the 4-1 win over St Johnstone.

The 20-year-old, on loan from Manchester City until the end of the season, had confirmed on Friday that he wanted to stay at Parkhead until after the Scottish Cup final against Aberdeen, foregoing the opportunity to go with England Under-20s to the World Cup in South Korea.

During a man-of-thematch performance Roberts broke the deadlock in the Ladbrokes Premiership encounter early in the second- half with a curling shot.

Steven MacLean levelled two minutes later but Hoops defender Dedryck Boyata headed the home side back in front before Roberts, who cost City a reported fee of around £11million when he moved from Fulham in 2015, grabbed a third from close range with substitute Callum McGregor adding a fourth for the treble- chasing home team.

“I think he’s a player (Roberts) that of course we’d love to have here, but we have to respect he’s still a Manchester City player,” said boss Rodgers.

“If there’s ever a possibility of doing it then of course it’s something that I would look at.”

With a smile, Rodgers admitted exerting his influence on Roberts’ decision to stay for the cup final.

He said: “I think it tells you everything about his enjoyment here and how he wants to be part of hopefully creating some history here.”

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