Celtic icon Frank McAvennie believes the Hoops should be focusing on further additions to the squad rather than offering new contracts to existing players.
Following on from skipper Callum McGregor’s decision to sign a new five-year-deal, it was revealed last week that full-back Greg Taylor was the latest player locked in negotiations with the club over a contract extension, that could include a wage rise.
McAvennie is unconvinced Taylor, who is currently recovering from shoulder surgery and is likely to be out until the end of next month, is deserving of a new deal.
The former Parkhead striker claims manager Ange Postecoglou, who made 11 new signings over the summer, should be prioritising new arrivals in the January transfer window.
He told Football Insider: “You don’t want me to say what I really think.
“It’s one of them, he’s coming back in after injury and I don’t know if he suits the system. I won’t have a go at someone who is after a new contract, but I would rather see signings than extensions.
“I’ve criticised the full-backs so often this season and I stand by that. I think we need new ones.
“That’s just a personal opinion from me. All power to Taylor if he gets offered that deal, but personally, I want to see some movement in January.”
McAvennie expects defender Christopher Jullien to walk straight back into the starting line-up once he returns to full fitness.
The Frenchman has been out of action since last December after sustaining a serious knee injury, but Postecoglou confirmed he could return after the international break.
That would leave a battle between Carl Starfelt, signed for £4million from Rubin Kazan, and Cameron Carter-Vickers, on loan from Tottenham Hotspur, for the remaining spot in centre-half.
McAvennie claims both players do not deserve the criticism they have received after an uncertain start to their Hoops’ careers but insists they must now prove they deserve to stay in the side.
He said: “Everyone is having a go at Starfelt and Carter-Vickers. I’m not sure that’s fair. I’m thinking this is still a transitional period.
“For crying out loud, Starfelt is still learning how to be a centre back. This is one of the first times he’s played in the middle.
“The other full-backs aren’t there which leaves them exposed. They get too high up and don’t come back.
“That’s the way the manager wants to play at the moment. It all comes back to the defence.
“I’m sure they will get better as the season goes on, but I wouldn’t be surprised if one of them is dropped when Jullien comes back.”