Mikael Lustig has hit out at Brendan Rodgers over the manner he departed Celtic and says he gave his old boss both barrels for leaving the club in the lurch.
The Swede, who left Celtic for Gent in the summer after a trophy laden seven and a half seasons in Glasgow, insists a “fan would not quit the club in February”.
Lustig told Belgian sports publication Sport/Foot Magazine that while he had respect for “perfectionist” tactician Rodgers, he rates Neil Lennon as more crucial in relation to his career overall.
He said: “In terms of managers, Neil Lennon persuaded me to move to Celtic so he is the most important coach for me.
“Tactically, the best was Brendan Rodgers. He was a true perfectionist.
“I only regret that he left the way he did. When you say you are a fan of Celtic you do not quit the club in February.
Lustig revealed that he let Rodgers know his thoughts on the matter in no uncertain terms.
He continued: “I do not approve of his choice and he knows it.”
Lustig’s comments will resonate with the Celtic support who were stunned as Rodgers upped sticks and left for Leicester with a treble Treble in the balance.
The former manager made great play of how much of a supporter he was, but acrimony behind the scenes meant he was ready and willing to jump ship when Leicester came calling.
Lustig hinted yet again that he would have liked to extend his stay at Celtic and wasn’t too impressed at how he left. But the fans’ favourite says he still loves the club too much to stick the boot in.
Celtic put a one-year deal on the table, whereas the Belgian side offered three years and more security.
He said: “Celtic will always have a huge place in my heart, but in football, we are not always alone in deciding.
“They offered to keep me on and, come on, I respect the club too much to say bad things about it.
“But I gave everything to them for eight years. I was expecting a little more respect in return.
“My family and my ex-teammates know what happened, that’s the most important thing.
“And I do not want to close this door, I want to feel good when I return to Glasgow.”