Negotiations are ongoing between Celtic and Rocco Vata over a new contract.

The winger has been linked with clubs such as Sampdoria, Bologna and Como and his contract expires in the summer, but he was handed his first appearance of the season for Celtic during their cup clash with Buckie Thistle.

It remains to be seen if Vata will remain in Glasgow beyond his current contract, but it is understood that negotiations are ongoing between both parties.

An initial offer to Vata from Celtic was wide of the mark for the player and his representatives, but further dialogue has taken place in the last 48 hours and a deal could still be concluded.

Rodgers, who also brought 18-year-old debutant Daniel Kelly off the bench, said: “Young players have to earn the right. There’s been a lot of noise around Rocco but any young player has to earn the opportunity. I’ve given many young players opportunities in my career.

“But I like Rocco, he has qualities. He is strong, he’s aggressive, he wants to get goals. When he came on he got his goal and he had other opportunities.

“And Daniel Kelly is a young player I really like. If he keeps progressing and developing he will have a big future. He is left-sided, he is quick and strong, he presses the game very well.

“They get a taste of it and hopefully that gives them the motivation and determination to continue progressing.”

When asked about Vata’s future, Rodgers said: “That will be up to him. He’s a talent.

“It depends what the mentality is with him and his representatives. You get some young players whose representatives will tell you if they are not playing in the first team, starting, they don’t want to stay. You better go then, because you have got to earn the right.

“He is 18, I don’t need players ready at 18 unless they are real, real special talents, but by 20-21 they need to be ready.

“But you can see he has tools and this can be a really good place for him to develop.”