Brendan Rodgers: Former Celtic boss says Leicester would not have waited

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'Never a Celt. Always a fraud' - Celtic fans unveil Rodgers banner

New Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers has insisted the Premier League club "would not have waited" for him, and he did not have the option to wait until the summer before leaving Celtic.

The Northern Irishman said he had achieved all he could in three years at Celtic in which he won seven trophies.

Rodgers also hopes Celtic fans will, in time, forgive him for quitting with an unprecedented Treble Treble in sight.

"I had opportunities to leave but this was too good to turn down," he said.

"It wasn't easy. I've got family and friends who have grown up Celtic supporters who are deeply upset, but I had to remove the emotion.

"Celtic are one of the biggest clubs in the world. It's not about [moving to a bigger club], it's about the challenge and coming to the Premier League.

"If I was making the decision with my heart, I would have been at Celtic for life. It's an incredible club that I've supported all my life. But I felt it was the time to move on to my next challenge."

Celtic fans unveiled a banner at Tynecastle before Wednesday's 2-1 win over Hearts, saying Rodgers had swapped "immortality for mediocrity" after choosing to leave for a side 11th in the English top flight.

Rodgers says he saw the banner and that he "understood" how the supporters feel and recognised that they are "hurting".

"I understand the timing issue, because if there was an ideal time it would be summer," he said.

"It's not something that I was looking for. An opportunity to come to a club like Leicester wasn't going to wait for me."

He said there was a moment of shock, when Celtic fans were angry, but added eventually there will be "a reality", adding "hopefully the work that we did there will be appreciated".

He said: "What gave me the comfort to make the move was knowing what we put into place was going to stabilise the club moving forward. We've left the club in a really good position, eight points clear."

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