According to a recent report from The Daily Express, Celtic are interested in luring Filip Benkovic to Parkhead in the last knockings of the transfer window. The 21-year-old defender only made the move to Premier League side Leicester City earlier this summer but has yet to feature in the league for Claude Puel’s men, which appears to have interested Bhoys chief Brendan Rodgers.
And that’s because the former Liverpool boss is reportedly keen on luring the 6ft 4in centre back north of the border in the final few days of the Scottish window, and were he to do just that, the addition of the Croatia Under-21 international would go some way to seriously strengthening his Celtic squad.
Ultimately, it has been a tough few months to open the season for the Scottish Premiership champions, what with Rodgers’ side already out of the Champions League having lost in the third qualifying round, and having also tasted defeat to Hearts in the league.
And some of their early-season problems can be pinned down to their difficulties at centre back, as suspensions to Kristoffer Ajer and Jozo Simunovic in European competition, alongside the injury to Marvin Compper, left Rodgers very short in that department.
And alongside the growing uncertainty surrounding the future of Dedryck Boyata, who reportedly refused to play for the club following the breakdown of a possible move to Fulham, it’s clear that further reinforcements may be needed in that department, especially were Boyata to get his way and leave the club by the end of play on Friday.
The 21-year-old played his football at Croatian giants Dinamo Zagreb before Leicester spent £13 million on him earlier this month, which itself underlines just how highly Puel and his staff rate the centre back – Chelsea were also linked with the youngster during the close season.
And it’s not difficult to see why the Blues wanted him and indeed why the Foxes spent £13 million on him given he has all the traits to go on and become a top-quality modern-day defender, with strength both aerially and in the tackle, alongside a calmness on the ball and a willingness to play out from the back.
And with first team football seemingly not a given at the King Power Stadium, what with Leicester well-stocked in that department, a loan move could be in Benkovic’s best interests, and indeed in the best interests of Celtic were they to lure him to Parkhead.
Clearly, Boyata’s future remains hugely uncertain and, were they to lose the Belgium international, it would leave them both short in numbers and indeed in quality in the heart of the backline, which is why the addition of Benkovic would go some way to not only compensating for his departure, but also to seriously strengthen the Celtic squad.
Celtic fans… what do you think? Let us know!