Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers has heaped praise on Leicester City loanee Filip Benkovic and has admitted he would jump at any 'opportunity' to sign the towering centre-back on a permanent deal.
Benkovic, a 6ft 4in Croatian defender, has been on loan at Parkhead since the start of the campaign and his stellar performances have not gone unnoticed - leading Rodgers to describe him as a 'big talent'.
Speaking at Celtic's AGM (via this is futbol) Rodgers spoke to the media about the Croat's current situation, saying: "
“He is really happy here and Leicester let us have him for a reason – which was to come and get game time and prepare him for the Premier League next season." Rodgers added.
Rodgers will be hoping that Leicester do not activate their option to recall Benkovic in January, as the loanee is part of a settled centre-back pairing alongside Dedryck Boyata that have conceded just six goals in the league all season, having played 12 games.
The Glasgow side have started to hit their stride in recent weeks after a sticky start to the season and Benkovic has played a key role in the upturn of the clubs fortunes.
Rodger's comments suggest that he isn't too optimistic the Hoops will be able to hang on to the Croat, however, he admitted that any opportunity to do so would be welcome.
“The likelihood is that this is a very difficult deal but if there was an opportunity it was one we would look at for sure. He is a big talent, but lots of these players from around Europe want to play in the Premier League.”
Ultimately the decision on Benkovic's future will lie with his parent club Leicester. The former Premier League champions saw centre-back Harry Maguire pick up a knee injury before the international break which, depending on the severity of the injury, could tempt the club to recall Benkovic as soon as January.
Source : 90min