Former Scotland defender Alan Hutton has predicted Celtic may have a ‘problem’ in the transfer market this summer.
The lowdown: Ange prepares for busy off-season
Following a successful first full campaign in the Celtic Park hot seat, Hoops’ boss Ange Postecoglou has already suggested that many first-team players could be looking for a way out of the club as he prepares to oversee a squad overhaul.
Two stars definitely on the move are Tom Rogic and Nir Bitton after the long-standing midfield pair bid farewell to the Parkhead faithful against Motherwell.
Despite the early confirmed exits, the newly crowned Scottish Premiership champions could be faced with an issue moving forwards when trying to mould the ranks for next term…
The latest: Hutton makes claim
The 37-year-old said: “This is the problem. It’s not worked out for those players, the likes of Barkas. He was brought in for £5million on a decent contract. He’s not played so nobody’s going to pay that. So you have to cut the losses.
“I mean, that’s the only way you can get these players out. To free up space, they’re going to have to do that. You have to be playing at a certain level for people to show any interest and they’re not there at this moment in time.
“That’s not to say that they can’t get there but at this moment they’re not. So Celtic are probably going to have to take a loss to try and get some of them out to allow the space to get their targets.”
The verdict: Clear-out required
Whilst it seems implausible that the Bhoys would need to perform vast surgery on a title-winning side, having already proven his astute acumen in the transfer market, Postecogulou will no doubt be wanting to strengthen once more in order to compete in the UEFA Champions League group stage next season.
Vasilis Barkas, Albian Ajeti, Christopher Jullien and Ismaila Soro have only managed 57 combined appearances this term and could all be facing the prospect of a move away from Glasgow in the summer.
The prospect of Champions League action back at Celtic Park and the financial implications that come with it may allow those departures to come to fruition even at a cut-price fee.
Ultimately, given his track record, albeit a small sample size, entrusting Postecogulou with any potential incoming transfer funds and the windfall from elite European participation would be a shrewd move from the Celtic hierarchy.
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