Has Brendan Rodgers indirectly sent a message to Everton with comments about Simunovic?

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers celebrates as Celtic win the Ladbrokes Scottish Premier League during the Scottish Premier League match between Celtic and Aberdeen at Celtic Park on May 13,...

Everton reportedly want Celtic left-back Kieran Tierney, while Jozo Simunovic is claimed to be on the radar of Lille.

Jozo Simunovic of Celtic reacts after scoring in his own goal during the UEFA Champions League group B match between Celtic FC and RSC Anderlecht at Celtic Park on December 5, 2017 in...

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers has told The Daily Record that the club do not want to sell Jozo Simunovic before the Champions League qualifiers are finished.

The Scottish Premiership giants will be involved in Champions League qualifies from this month, as they aim to book their place in the group stage of Europe’s premier club competition for the third season in a row.

Rodgers has suggested that Celtic will not sell Simunovic, with The Daily Record claiming of interest in the 23-year-old central defender from French club Lille.

Love Island World Cup: If EVERY contestant were an England player

“I wouldn’t encourage a move for any player,” Rodgers told The Daily Record. “We need as many of them here for as long as we can to help us. So at this moment in time we wouldn’t be overly interested.”

Kieran Tierney of Celtic celebrates with the Scottish Cup Trophy following the Scottish Cup Final between Motherwell and Celtic at Hampden Park on May 19, 2018 in Glasgow, Scotland.

Good decision

With Dedryck Boyata and Mikael Lustig unavailable at the moment due to their involvement at the World Cup with Belgium and Sweden respectively, it does make sense for Celtic not to part company with Simunovic.

The 23-year-old centre-back may not exactly be a ‘great’ defender and has made mistakes from time to time, but the youngster will be important for the Hoops in their quest to make it through to the Champions League.

Brendan Rodgers manager of Celtic applauds fans prior to the Scottish Cup Final between Motherwell and Celtic at Hampden Park on May 19, 2018 in Glasgow, Scotland.

Message for Everton?

Rodgers’s comments about Simunovic could also apply to Kieran Tierney, who has been linked with Premier League club Everton in the summer transfer window.

According to The Daily Record, Everton's opening bid of £25m for the Scotland international left-back will be rejected by Celtic.

While a major offer could be hard for the Hoops to turn down, Rodgers’s comments about Simunovic suggest that he would not be willing to part company with 21-year-old until after the Champions League qualifiers are over.

Register for EVERTON team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch