Celtic, top of the Scottish Premiership and on course to seal yet another league title under Brendan Rodgers after he returned last summer, have the opportunity to strengthen even further this month. And whilst they’re reportedly unlikely to land one particular deal, pundit Alan Hutton believes that the Scottish giants should be optimistic ahead of the summer.
Celtic transfer news
With the January window well underway, Celtic have been linked with reinforcements that could help them on their way to a third consecutive league title. According to reports, Celtic have held talks with Gwangju FC midfielder Jung Ho-Yeon in what could prove to be a shrewd piece of business if all goes well. Meanwhile, the Bhoys have already sealed a deal from elsewhere this month, welcoming Nicolas Kuhn from Rapid Vienna.
After signing on the dotted line, Kuhn said: “Celtic is one of the biggest clubs around and I’m really happy to be here. At Celtic, it’s about doing all we can to win every game, so that is the challenge here. I can’t wait to get going and do my very best for our supporters.”
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A player that Rodgers may not be able to welcome with open arms this month, however, is Caoimhin Kelleher. According to reports, Liverpool will reject any bids for Kelleher this month, but Hutton believes that Celtic should be optimistic about their chances to secure a summer deal for the target.
Talking to Football Insider, the former Premier League full-back and BBC pundit said: “He’s an outstanding goalkeeper. We don’t see too much of him at Liverpool, but when it comes to the cup games, Jurgen Klopp obviously trusts him a lot for him to go and play. Every time I’ve watched him, I think he’s been amazing.
“He’s only 25 years old at this stage, so obviously with the Joe Hart situation, the fans always wanted to see somebody come in and put pressure on him. I can’t see it happening in January, to be honest, but fans should be more optimistic about it happening in the summer. With his experience at a big football club, he ticks all the boxes. They’ll be looking at him as the long-term replacement.”
“Outstanding” Kelleher could be the perfect Hart replacement
With Hart’s contract set to expire this summer as things stand, Celtic may have no choice but to turn to the market for a fresh face in between the sticks. And they should look no further than Kelleher. Rooted behind Alisson Becker in the pecking order at Liverpool, mainly thanks to how incredible the Brazilian is, rather than anything against the Celtic target, Kelleher is at somewhat of a crossroads in his career.
At 25, it could be the perfect time to bring an end to his Anfield career and instead move on and take a number one spot over a backup role. With experience in cup finals, the Champions League and the Premier League already under his belt, he could be the perfect long-term replacement for Hart. Although a deal seems unlikely this month, Celtic should swoop in this summer to sign the Liverpool shot-stopper, whose need for a number-one spot is growing more and more desperate with each season.