Brendan Rodgers has challenged Celtic to take their domestic form into Europe next year
An astonishing first season in Scottish football netted him all three trophies, winning the title at a canter, and completing all 47 domestic matches undefeated.
Now the target is to make a real impact on the continental stage and produce post-winter break European football.
Rodgers knows Celtic are still miles behind the Champions League heavyweights in terms of financial muscle in the same way that they are streets ahead of the rest in Scotland. But after a sensational end to the season – the stoppage time 2-1 win over Aberdeen in Saturday’s Scottish Cup final – he’s already plotting the next chapter.
Rodgers said: “We want to qualify first and foremost. That will always be a challenge. Then we have to see what we can do.
Brendan Rodgers has won all three domestic trophies in his first season at Celtic
“You have to be careful and recognise where we are. We’re 10 times behind budget-wise. You have to be realistic. The gauge for us is to measure calmly once we’ve qualified.
“We would like to be in Europe for the second part of the season, whatever competition that’s in, and that’s a huge, huge ask for a club like ourselves.”
Rodgers hopes to tie up a new deal with Stuart Armstrong in the next week but revealed that if players don’t commit then he will happily let them move on and replace them.
He said: “I’m sure we will get a new deal for Stuart tied up. We put it off about 10 days ago because I didn’t want it to affect the preparation for this game. But hopefully that can be done afterwards.
“Listen, I’m realistic. Football is about two things for players – game-time and money.
“If they decide to move, it’s OK. We’ll fight to keep them but if they don’t want to stay, we’ll find someone else.”
Meanwhile, Kieran Tierney has not yet been ruled out of Scotland’s World Cup showdown with England on June 10.
Get Quotes on Home Insurance
He required dental surgery following a clash with Aberdeen’s Jayden Stockley but it is unclear if he will be OK to line up against the English at Hampden.