BRENDAN Rodgers has revealed that Kolo Toure will be remaining with Celtic this season – but has still to make up his mind whether it will be as a player or a coach.

Toure, the vastly-experienced former Arsenal and Liverpool defender, hardly featured for the Parkhead club in the second half of last season as Dedryck Boyata and Jozo Simunovic established themselves as the first choice centre half pairing.

However, the Ivory Coast internationalist proved an invaluable help to Rodgers, who he worked under during his time at Anfield, as a coach and the Celtic manager is keen to retain his services in some capacity.

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The Northern Irishman believes it would be foolish to discard Toure, who joined the Scottish champions on a free transfer last summer, if he decides to retire from playing.

“It’s a tough one,” he said. “Kolo is still in that mindset where he is asking: ‘Do I want to play?’ He’s now 35. He was fantastic for us last year, but his contract has run out. But he is someone I would like to have a role for.

“Obviously, the playing role diminishes for him. He just needs time to see where he’s at, in terms of playing, or whether he falls into the coaching role more.

“It’s something that he and I have spoken about over the course of the season. I think that sometimes what happens is that players who have been at that level, and have that experience, they sometimes just get pushed to the side a little bit.

“But guys like that are very, very important, not just for changing rooms, but for clubs. Players like that retain the values of a club and they understand the levels expected and the pressures, and they can help in that perspective.

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“It helps you as a coach or a manager, because you cannot be in the players’ pockets 24 hours a day. So these are guys that can be great lieutenants for you, and help install your standards and the values, such as giving young players a little reminder about things when you’re not there.

“A player with a profile and a status can do that for you. That’s why I think it’s so important that big clubs have guys who can do that.”

Several Celtic players, including Belgian internationalist Boyata, were complimentary about the help and encouragement they received from Toure last season and

“That was a part of the role that I brought him in to do,” he said. “I knew he [KT] could come in and help us get into the CL. And I knew that to bring that stability within that defensive partnership, then he maybe could not play a lot of games, but he could be a real positive influence. I like to have those sorts of players around me.

“Look, it’s tough if you are not playing. But I don’t need any players going about with their heads on the floor – when that happens you’re not going to get anywhere really as a group.

“I think people needed to see, in all the celebrations, that he was right in the middle of it. This was a guy who hadn’t played so much.

“So it is important to have good people. In the environment, you need to have the right type in there, and Kolo is definitely that.”