BRENDAN Rodgers has suggested that Celtic will need to spend a significant sum of money in order to strengthen their squad with a top class right back.

Bringing in a long-term replacement for Mikael Lustig, who turned 32 last month and whose current deal expires in the summer, is currently a priority for the Scottish champions.

The Parkhead club’s prospects of landing Timothy Castagne from Atalanta diminished when the £6 million-rated Belgian defender revealed he wanted to play in England or Germany.

Rodgers has been linked with Fernando Fonseca of Dominic Iorfa of Wolves and Fernando Fonseca of Porto, who are both right backs, in recent days.

He gave no indication of Celtic having any interest in either Fonseca or Iorfa or Wigan midfielder Nick Powell at his pre-match press conference yesterday.

The double treble winners have landed Oliver Burke and Timothy Weah on loan from West Brom and Paris Saint-Germain respectively this month.

And Rodgers is hopeful the £2 million signing of Ivorian striker Vakoun Issouf Bayo will finally be completed this week.

However, the Northern Irishman suggested that the Scottish champions will have to open their cheque book in order to secure a quality right back.

“We have an international right-back (Lustig), an international back-up (Crisitan Gamboa) and a young international (Anthony Ralston) who has been playing as cover,” he said.

“It’s not rocket science if you want to improve in that position or any other position. It’s not always about spending money, but in some positions . . .

“We have areas of the field we have wanted to improve over a number of windows now. If we can’t get the ones we want, then I’m really not about stockpiling players. If we can’t get the type we want, then we don’t do anything.”

Meanwhile, Rodgers last night insisted there are no hitches in the signing of Bayo as Celtic continued their wait for international clearance for the centre forward.

Bayo, the 21-year-old who has scored 18 goals in 23 games for Slovakian side Dunajska Streda this season, agreed to join the Parkhead club on a four year deal on January 8.

Rodgers had anticipated having the transfer completed by the end of last week – but yesterday he admitted the deal had still not been finalised nearly a fortnight later.

But the 45-year-old, whose team return to Ladbrokes Premiership action against St Mirren at Celtic Park tomorrow night, stressed he is comfortable with the situation.

Asked if the signing had been finalised, he said: “Not yet. We are waiting on international clearance. I think there are other elements to it. It is just waiting on that. I am guided by the club. It is just time and hopefully that will take place soon.”

Elsewhere, Rodgers stressed that Lewis Morgan won’t be returning to St Mirren, who he was signed from last January, on loan this month.

He said: “Lewis to St Mirren? I don’t think so. We’ve spoken about the idea of going on loan, but he has a number of possibilities.

"He loves his time at St Mirren and it’s nothing against the club or manager. But speaking to him and his agent, if he moves out then it will be somewhere different.”

“I haven’t heard anything from Hibs. There is quite a bit of interest around him. We’ll see where he ends up. He might even end up staying put.

“He’s a good boy who has been unfortunate here. The players who are in his position have played well and been consistently available. He is at the age where he needs to get games into his legs again.”