Celtic have added to their squad in the January transfer window with a £3m deal for Rapid Vienna winger Nicolas Kuhn, but there are still multiple positions manager Brendan Rodgers wants to address.
With Kyogo Furuhashi the only Celtic forward to score more than seven goals so far, Rodgers is after a new striker, and he’d also like a left-back to complete with Greg Taylor, who’s started every single one of his side’s Scottish Premiership matches so far.
Another area that may need to be addressed is the goalkeeper position, with Joe Hart closing in on the expiry of his contract in the summer. Rodgers does also have Benjamin Siegrist and Scott Bain available, but he apparently wants to recruit a new number one instead. That’s why Celtic are looking at Caoimhin Kelleher of Liverpool, and there’s now been a fresh update on their pursuit of the Irishman.
Celtic learn Kelleher demands
According to Football Insider, Celtic are planning a loan-to-buy move for Kelleher. Liverpool have set an asking price of £20m, which would be a record for the Hoops, but no suitors will “come close” to that valuation even though there’s “plenty of interest”.
The hope at Celtic is that the Reds reduce their demands so that they can proceed with the transfer, which would see Kelleher join on a temporary basis at first before becoming a permanent addition. Significantly, the player has decided he’s ready to leave Anfield at the end of the season.
Penalty specialist Kelleher fits Rodgers’ style
Playing second fiddle to Alisson, a former winner of FIFA’s Best Goalkeeper Award, Kelleher is always likely to struggle for minutes, but he’s actually managed to rack up 11 appearances this season, two in the Premier League, five in the Europa League and four more in the League Cup.
Rodgers likes a goalkeeper who can comfortably play out from the back while also giving him the option to go long on occasion. Hart ranks second in the league for accurate passes (448) and while he’s only 13th for accurate long passes (48), he executes these with the third-best accuracy (42.11%) in the league.
Kelleher, whose fundamental goalkeeping stats are listed below, would be comfortable carrying out these demands. When compared to fellow ‘keepers in similar leagues over the past year, he ranks in the 87th percentile for passes attempted (35.63 per 90) and in the second-highest for launched pass completion (40 yards or further) at 46.2%.
|Kelleher’s Premier League stats
|Shots on target faced
|Post-shot xG faced
The 25-year-old is also a penalty specialist, which could help Celtic in knockout cup matches. In the autumn of 2022, he became Liverpool’s record-holder for saves in a penalty shoot-out, prompting Jurgen Klopp to call him “absolutely exceptional”.
At £20m, Kelleher would be the most expensive signing in the club’s history, comfortably surpassing the £13.8m deal for Jota in 2022, but they may bank on that price falling as the year goes on. If Kelleher remains in goal for Liverpool in the Europa League knockout stages and impresses on a deep run, though, it may only strengthen his side’s resolve.