Celtic news bulletin as Brendan Rodgers sets transfer timeline and Alistair Johnston return delay due to Canada heroics

Brendan Rodgers hopes to have new faces on board for Celtic's USA pre-season trip.

The champions are yet to announce any new arrivals while across the city rivals Rangers have been very active. The Hoops returned to pre-season action last night as they played out a 1-1 draw with Ayr United at Somerset Park. Focus now turns to the midweek trip to Mount Florida to face Queen's Park before jetting out for three games against DC United, Manchester City and Chelsea.

The Parkhead faithful are desperate to see new signings arrive at the club this summer. The need for a new No1 is a priority for Rodgers after Joe Hart decided to hang up his gloves at the end of the season. Adam Idah is another he wants back from Norwich City full-time after an impressive loan stint with others expected to follow ahead of looking to successfully defend the Scottish Premiership crown and make a splash in the newly revamped Champions League next season.

Speaking following the draw with Scott Brown's troops in Ayrshire, Rodgers gave an update on the transfer front. He explained: "Yes, absolutely. We could have had nine players in by now if we wanted, but it’s all about the right players that we want.

“There’s no point in us doing anything other than that and sometimes that takes a little bit of patience. In the world nowadays, where everything’s immediate, everyone thinks you can do it straight away, but it’s not always the case. There’s always a collaboration between ourselves and another club to get the players that we want, but I’m very hopeful that come the end of the window, we’ll have a really strong squad and be ready and prepared for an exciting season. There’s lots of time. Of course, we would want to get them in sooner rather than later. But it’s always a two-way thing.”

Asked if he hoped to have new signings in place for the USA, he added: "That’s the plan. I think every manager would like them in on the first day, but what’s most important is the players we want are targeted. We know what we want to bring in to improve the squad and I’m sure over the coming weeks we’ll conclude the deals.”

Meanwhile, while Rodgers will start welcoming some of his big names back over the coming days and weeks. One man who may not be seen in the hoops for a while yet is Alistair Johnston.

He is currently starring at the Copa America for Canada and he played his role as his country reached the semi-final stage by defeating Venezuela on penalties. They will go head to head with Lionel Messi and Argentina in the last four for the second time in the tournament having lost out 2-0 to the World Cup holders in the group stage.

With the semi-finals taking place next midweek and a potential final in a weeks time if they make it, the defender will then be given some time off to rest up. Being in competitive action it should be a smoother transition in pre-season with less work needed than his team-mates on the fitness front. Celtic's big return to league action comes on Sunday, August 4 at Parkhead.

Elsewhere, Rocco Vata has taken to social media to express his delight after swapping Celtic for Watford. The youngster has penned a long-term deal with the English Championship side with the Hoops due a compensation package for the deal. He wrote on Instagram: "Delighted to have signed for Watford, excited for the new challenge. See you soon hornets."