Brendan Rodgers has insisted there is “no story” behind Leigh Griffiths’ failure to get himself back into the Celtic first-team.

The Scotland internationalist has been benched without appearing in games against Motherwell, Anderlecht and Hibs as Odsonne Edouard has come to prominence.

Rodgers, though, rebuffed any suggestion that the striker has fallen down the pecking order at Celtic and was reluctant to discuss his individual case.

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The Hoops boss was publicly critical of Griffiths last season when he felt the striker was not living the lifestyle of a professional football but he was not drawn on whether similar issues have arisen again.

Asked how the player has responded to being overlooked of late, Rodgers said:

“I don’t know. You would need to ask him.

“I can only speak about him if you speak about every single player that doesn’t play.

“I respect that he’s Scottish and I respect that he plays for Scotland but if you ask me about Leigh you have to ask why Moussa Dembele or Kristoffer Ajer isn’t playing.

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“Or why Erik Sviatchenko isn’t playing. If you don’t want to ask me about them....

“There’s no story in it. I’m picking what I think is the best team. Odsonne is coming off a hat-trick against Motherwell where he was brilliant and performed well when he came into the team in the Champions league game.

“It’s about picking players in a good moment and it’s a long season. Leigh is a fantastic young striker for us and what I have now is three players who can contribute depending on what type of game I need to play.

“Moussa and Leigh have their qualities and Odsonne is a combination of both and I thought he did well against Hibs.”

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Meanwhile, Rodgers has insisted that he is unfazed about any speculation that is bound to revolve around Moussa Dembele in next month’s transfer window – and has insisted that players will only be allowed to leave the club at Celtic’s say so.

“There will be speculation about a number of players and a few clubs added to the list,” said Rodgers.

“I think it’s part of the nature of a team performing well and players performing at a good level. Others then see potential in players and that will always be the case.

“And it is how it is here – players come through and come on and then of course they move on. But that’s only when we want them to.”