Brendan Rodgers last night insisted that Patrick Roberts could still be at Celtic next season.

The English under-20 internationalist was in irresistible form as he netted a brace in the 5-0 win at Firhill last night and Rodgers has not given up hope that he could return to Celtic again.

Roberts is due to return to parent club Manchester City after the Scottish Cup final but when asked if it would be unrealistic to keep him, Rodgers said:

"No, it's not. But I think for the twentieth time I'm going to say he is going back to Manchester City. And for the twentieth time I will say he is a Manchester City player.

"If there is ever a chance to bring him back, we will bring him back. That is it. That is the story.

"He's here on loan and if there's a chance for him to come we will look to take it. If not he will stay and play in the Premier League.

"They paid an awful lot of money for him and sent him out on a very good education, which has has had. If he is up and open to leave then of course we would love to be in the market for him.

"He's a brilliant young player, though there is still a lot of education and training required for him. Having worked with big talents like the Sterlings and Coutinhos, he certainly has all of the qualities.

"It just really depends on how many might be in front of him and how many Manchester City might be looking to bring in. But he is a joy to work with and a great kid.'

Meanwhile, Rodgers also laughed off Leigh Griffiths’ petulance when the striker was substituted for Scott Sinclair.

Griffiths, who netted the first of the night from the spot, made his feelings known about being replaced but the Hoops boss has insisted that the issue has been dealt with – and there are no ill feelings in the aftermath of the incident.

“For a minute he forgot himself," said Rodgers. "For a minute he thought about himself instead of the team. This is a team that’s selfless.

“I can change it about and the players know I trust them in their work.

“He’s a brilliant boy but all strikers will always be the same - so he just needed a wee reminder that this is not about him or any other individual. This is about the culture of the team.

“But he was outstanding tonight and he understood afterwards that I need also to protect him as the only fit striker at the moment.

“It’s gone now. Footballers just need reminders sometimes but I explained it to him and it’s gone.

“We kissed and made up - and he gave us a cuddle as well! He’s fine.

“I don’t leave anything out, I’ve always said to the players I’m very open with my communication. I don’t tell them something in six months that I can tell them now.

“If I need to tell them I will tell them - but it’s always in a way to help them. Every one of them will tell you they understand that.

“So there’s no drama but with modern footballers you’ve just got to remind them, especially strikers."

Celtic levelled the current record points tally of 103 last night while also moving within a goal of the record 105 goals sets by Martin O'Neill's team in 2003/04.

And Rodgers is well aware that his side are standing on the cusp of history with just 90 minutes between them and an invincibles tag.

“That’s 103 points, 104 goals and 33 wins - so we need one more win to beat that record also," said the Hoops boss.

“I think everyone coming here would have expected a severe test for us tonight, and rightly so because Alan’s been fantastic this season getting his team in the top six and being really hard to beat.

“It was an outstanding team performance at this stage of the season."