Celtic

Celtic reportedly set to up the ante in pursuit of 20-year-old defensive sensation

Celtic supporters continue to make all the noise in the Transfer Tavern as their side’s took another giant step towards back-to-back seasons of Scottish dominance on Saturday with a 4-2 victory over Hibernian in the Scottish League Cup semi-finals.

Brendan Rodgers’ men are bidding to remain unbeaten in domestic competition for the second successive season after completing the treble last term, and they are now one game away from defending their League Cup title following their success at Hampden Park last weekend. Braces from Mikael Lustig and Moussa Dembele sent the Bhoys on their way to the November showpiece, and although goals from Anthony Stokes and Oliver Shaw twice got Hibs back to within one goal, Rodgers’ side held on and will now face Motherwell in the final next month.

Unsurprisingly, our resident Celtic fans were overjoyed on Saturday at the thought of another domestic final for their side, and they are likely to be further encouraged on the transfer front if a recent report from The Scottish Sun is anything to go by.

And that’s because they report that the Scottish giants are upping the ante in pursuit of Dinamo Zagreb defender Filip Benkovic, whom they have been linked with at times in 2017.

The 20-year-old came up through the youth ranks at the Croatian outfit and has since gone on to make 58 appearances for the senior team, bagging five goals from centre-back during the process.

And with three of those having come this term, including in his last outing against Hajduk Split on Saturday, the Croatia Under-21 international appears to be going from strength to strength, and as such Celtic are reportedly keeping tabs on his situation ahead of a possible January move.

In fact, scouts from the Scottish giants were in attendance at the weekend to see Benkovic net a late equaliser for Dinamo Zagreb, and that impressive display may be enough to tempt Rodgers and the Celtic hierarchy into reigniting their interest for the defensive sensation in the New Year.

Landlord’s verdict: Celtic continue their march towards another season of dominance in Scottish football, although there are some concerns for manager Brendan Rodgers to deal with.

The Bhoys are struggling for defensive options at present following injuries to Jozo Simunovic and Erik Sviatchenko, and as such they are reportedly looking at reigniting their interest in Dinamo Zagreb’s Filip Benkovic, someone they have been linked with at times already this year.

The 20-year-old appears to be making great strides in his homeland and could well be what Celtic need going into the second half of the season and beyond, but they were reportedly put off last time by the youngster’s £17 million price-tag.

And although that seems a bit steep for a 20-year-old centre-back, it’s likely to be the sort of money Celtic need to pay if they are to compete regularly on the European stage.

Celtic fans… what do you make of the news? Let us know!

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