Kristoffer Ajer and Olivier Ntcham have both been left out of Celtic’s squad to face Midtjylland in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League qualifying second-round tie on Tuesday night.
The Norway defender and French midfielder were not included in the Hoops squad registered with UEFA ahead of their clash against the Danish side at Parkhead.
Ajer has had a fitness issue, but he has been heavily linked with a move to Brentford while there has been speculation about the future of Ntcham, who was sent out on loan to Marseille in the second part of last season.
When asked about the Norwegian following Saturday’s 1-0 friendly defeat by Preston, Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou said: “I’m concentrating on the ones who are involved.
“I can’t afford to waste time on anyone other than the ones who are here and committed to being here.”
Recent recruit Osake Urhoghide is in Postecoglou’s squad, but fellow new signings Liel Abada and Kyogo Furuhashi have not been included.
There is scope for Celtic to add two players to the squad before midnight on Monday.
Celtic will face PSV or Galatasaray if they beat Midtjylland in the second qualifying round.
Celtic are bidding to reach the group stage for the first time in four years, but they must first beat Denmark’s Midtjylland in their two-legged second qualifying round tie before taking on PSV or Galatasaray.
The first leg of that tie will take place at Celtic Park on Tuesday night, and will be Postecoglou’s first competitive game as Celtic manager.
Celtic will be away in their first legs of the third qualifying round, which will be played on August 3 or 4. The second legs will take place on August 10.
Celtic will play Czech side Jablonec in that competition if they cannot get past Midtjylland.
How to follow the game
Keep up to date with all the action from Celtic Park via our live minute-by-minute match blog, with our coverage getting under way at 6.30pm on both the Sky Sports app and website.
Published at Mon, 19 Jul 2021 21:05:00 +0000
This post originally posted here https://www.skysports.com/football/celtic-vs-fc-midtjylland/preview/446724