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Celtic chief Dermot Desmond: 'Brendan Rodgers free to speak to Arsenal'

:Headline: Celtic chief Dermot Desmond: 'Brendan Rodgers free to speak to Arsenal':
Majority shareholder Dermot Desmond says that he will not stand in the way if Brendan Rodgers wants to discuss terms with Arsenal, but hopes that he remains at Celtic.

Celtic's majority shareholder Dermot Desmond has insisted that the club will not stand in the way if Arsenal approach manager Brendan Rodgers.

The Gunners are on the search for a new manager following Friday's news that long-serving boss Arsene Wenger is to step down from the post that he has held for 22 years.

A number of names have already been linked with the high-profile job, including Patrick Vieira, Massimiliano Allegri and Thomas Tuchel, while Rodgers - a Premier League runner-up with Liverpool in 2013-14 - is also rumoured to be a contender.

Desmond would reluctantly allow the Ulsterman to discuss terms with Arsenal should that interest become solid, with Rodgers enhancing his reputation during two years in Scotland.

"He's an outstanding person and we wouldn't like him to leave, but we can't force anyone to stay," he told Sky Sports News. "Hopefully his love for the club and the setup there and induce him to stay."

When asked whether he would allow Rodgers to speak with Arsenal, Desmond added: "Absolutely. You can't put handcuffs on anybody if they want to go to a club like Arsenal. It will be Brendan's decision and Brendan's decision only."

Rodgers remains on course to win a clean sweep of domestic honours this season, matching the success of his maiden campaign at Celtic Park.

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