Barcelona legend Xavi believes that a club of Celtic’s size shouldn’t have to go through Champions League qualifiers and that they should gain automatic entry into the group stages by wining the Scottish title, The Scotsman report.

Xavi, who currently plays in Qatar, also believes that Brendan Rodgers’ side should be aiming for the last 16 of Europe’s biggest club competition.

He said:

When you consider the size of the club, their history, their stadium, they should qualify automatically by winning their league. I think Celtic’s ambition should be more than qualifying for the group stage, it should be to make it to the last 16.

Xavi has urged Rodgers to keep hold of his star striker Moussa Dembele, as well as adding quality to his squad:

Dembele was one of the top forwards in Europe last season and any club must firstly make sure that they keep their best players. If they want to go up a level in the Champions League they must also look to add some quality.

After winning the domestic treble last season, the aim for Rodgers in the upcoming campaign will be to put in an improved performance in the Champions League. Celtic overcame a slow start to get through the qualifiers but they then finished bottom of their group.

The club will look to bring in some reinforcements to add to the squad in the hope that they can qualify for the Champions League knockout stages or, at worst, finish third in the group and go into the Europa League.

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