Brendan Rodgers was planning his next move from Celtic almost as soon as he was in the door, according to a report.
The former Celtic boss arrived at Parkhead to a hero’s reception but was already scheming his next move it’s claimed.
In a somewhat scathing “inside story” on Rodgers’ time at Liverpool, the Independent’s Tony Evans wrote, writing ahead of Leicester’s visit to Anfield, commented on his move to Scotland’s champions.
The revelation, if accurate, will come as some surprise. He says: “At Celtic, he indicated to former colleagues that he was eyeing his next move within weeks of arriving in Glasgow.”
Rodgers regularly professed his love of the club, laying it on a bit thick at times. Was it necessary to, as it seemed at the time, state it in every single interview?
Celtic fans knew some of the story of how things went for Rodgers at Anfield, thanks in no small measure to the Being: Liverpool fly-on-the-wall TV series.
Archie Gemmill once said of another former Liverpool manager, Graeme Souness: “If he was a chocolate drop, he’d eat himself.”
As well as Souness’s ruthlessness, there’s more than a hint of that with the Antrim man.
Rodgers came across at times as someone who had swallowed a book of philosophical quotations, regurgitated for a target audience of one, himself.
As a result, the David Brent aspect to his character was never far away, although he did seem to have learned to reign it in somewhat by the time he arrived at Celtic Park.
At least in public. What the players might have been hearing would be a different story. Moussa Dembele certainly seems to have called out his character after the transfer stand-off ahead of his Lyon move.
Evans, recognising Rodgers’ merits as a coach, cautioned that it was “worth taking some of his pronouncements with a hefty handful of salt”.
A few comments about Rodgers’ throwing the Liverpool hierarchy “under a bus” raise eyebrows too, with the then manager public pronouncements on transfers such as that of Daniel Sturridge at odds with his private thoughts.
As Dembele’s exit loomed, it did seem odd at the time that Rodgers didn’t appear interested in securing a replacement, even an emergency loan once the Frenchman’s move was concluded. It had been evident that Dembele had to go, although details of how, why and at whose behest remain murky.
The result was that we were left in a situation of having only two strikers, both of whom had injury issues the previous seasons.
As we know, circumstances led to Griffiths having to take time out, resulting in a tired Celtic side taking the field at Ibrox without a recognised forward and Mikey Johnston being thrown to the lions.
Benkovic signed on that last day of the transfer window to bolster the defence, so there was evidently time to get something done.
Rodgers delivered some excellent times at Celtic and that can never be taken away from him. There was evidently more to him than met the eye, though.
His departure, not least the timing of it, may have been a shock to Celtic fans, but perhaps less so to others who have seen him work the levers from behind the curtain.