Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers believes that Scott Brown has earned the right to deliberate over his next career step as Australian A-League aspirants Western Melbourne prepare to make an audacious move for the midfielder.

Brown is in the final year of his current deal at Celtic and the 33-year-old has been in talks with chief executive Peter Lawwell over an extension to his contract. The offer of a coaching role at the club has also been spoken about but Rodgers is keen to allow his captain to take it slowly as he weighs up what his next move will be.

“The one thing he deserves is time,” said Rodgers. “But I won’t be surprised if there are a few interested in him coming into his last year. I know he is happy speaking with the club as well, so by the end of the season we will know either way what is happening.”

The A-League is set to move from ten clubs to 12 with the Australian Football Federation set to announce which two club have won the additional places in the league on October 31st.

If successful it is believed that Western Melbourne are prepared to offer Brown a deal to become their marquee signing before commencing their league involvement in October 2019.

And while Rodgers was be reluctant to lose the influence of the midfielder, he is also reluctant to stand in his way if there is a substantial offer from elsewhere.

In any case, though, Rodgers has maintained that the door to a coaching role will always be open for the player who celebrated his testimonial with the club last term.

"There is no doubt that Scott - whether he stays here or goes - will be back one day as a coach or manager,” said the Celtic boss.

“I always say to players what I would say to my own son; there’s a professional side then there is a personal side. I have always tended to work closely with players, it’s a very short career.

“The number of stories I hear of players at the end of their careers struggling for money because they haven’t got this or haven’t got that. They are not going to get their milk and bread if they’ve got no money later in life.

It’s one where if it ever comes to that with Scott, I have always championed the deals for him to be here.

“But if it comes to a conversation about the bigger picture then, of course, from a professional point of view you want him to be here. He is a huge influence on the team and players.

“But there is also a personal aspect as well. I never try and sway them either way. I try and give them the balance and it’s like with your kids.

“When they get older they have to make the big decisions. You can’t make them for them. You can consult and guide, but ultimately they need to make the decision and Scott is a big boy.”

And Rodgers expects that it is only when Brown is not playing that there will be an appreciation of his ability on the pitch.

“That will be the case,” he said. But he is still very much here, that’s the thing.

“He is an incredible leader of the team on and off the pitch. You see now that Scotland miss that kind of personality and leader in their team. So he has been amazing for me in my couple of years now and there is no sign of letting up.”