Barcelona legend and former Spain international, Xavi, has said that Celtic are a big club, and they should keep hold of their star players.
Celtic will discover who they’ll play in the second qualifying round for Europe’s premier club competition on Monday, but Xavi believes they should be put straight into the group stages.
The Barca legend, who won four Champions League titles with the Catalan giants, says that Celtic should qualify automatically by winning the SPL.
Xavi, who has played many a times at Celtic Park during Champions League meetings with Celtic, believes that the Bhoys are heading in the right direction under Brendan Rodgers.
However, he says that Celtic must aim to make it to the knock-out stages, and for that to happen Rodgers needs to sign quality players.
But above all, Celtic’s first priority will be to keep hold of their existing star players. Xavi has particularly mentioned Moussa Dembele, and praised him as one of the “top forwards” in Europe.
Celtic's Moussa Dembele shoots at goal
“The most important thing is that Celtic keep their big players – Dembele was one of the top forwards in Europe last season and any club must firstly make sure that they keep their best players," said Xavi, as quoted by the Daily Record.
“If they want to go up a level in the Champions League they must also look to add some quality.
“Even if it is a loan player from one of the big clubs in England – it’s important they have players who have experience of playing at the highest level.”
Dembele enjoyed a fascinating 2016/17 campaign for the Hoops, where he scored 32 goals in all competitions.
A host of European clubs including Chelsea, Borussia Dortmund, AC Milan and Everton (The Scottish Sun) have registered an interest in Dembele, but Celtic have no intention to sell their prized asset.
Celtic's Moussa Dembele celebrates scoring their first goal