Southampton goalkeeper Fraser Forster is keen on the idea of returning to Parkhead on a permanent basis upon the expiry of his current loan deal with the Hoops, according to Football Insider.
The 31-year-old has massively fallen out of favour at St Mary’s with both Alex McCarthy and Angus Gunn ahead of him in the pecking order in Hampshire, making a move away from the club next season looking like a probable situation for the ex-England stopper.
Since rejoining the Bhoys on loan this term – having previously spent five years at the Scottish club prior to his switch to Southampton in 2014 – Forster has established himself as Neil Lennon’s first-choice goalkeeper.
Forster has played 13 times for Celtic so far this term, keeping six clean sheets in the process (all competitions, via Transfermarkt).
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His recent performance against Lazio in the Europa League, where he pulled off two magnificent saves against the Italians as Celtic won 2-1, was hailed by fans of the club online, while he has now also kept three consecutive clean sheets in the SPL.
It is clear from his performances that Forster is enjoying his football back at Parkhead and would most likely be open to the idea of returning next summer on a permanent basis. However, it is the player’s £70,000-a-week wages that could prove to be an issue.
Celtic simply can’t afford to pay that sort of weekly salary – especially not to an ageing goalkeeper – meaning if he did move back to the club for good at the end of the campaign, he would likely have to take a significant pay-cut.
Forster’s career at Southampton is now all but over, so a permanent move away from the club is definitely needed next year. Celtic seems like the best destination for him considering he knows the club so well and is valued there, though taking a huge pay-cut to join the club may not be viable.
Considering his current deal with the Saints does not expire until 2022, he could easily just sit on that contract and take the money, which would be detrimental to his playing career but obviously benefit him financially.
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