According to a recent report from The Daily Echo, the future of Fraser Forster is far from certain heading into the remainder of the January transfer window. The Englishman currently plays his football at Premier League outfit Southampton and has done so since leaving Celtic back in 2014, although struggles for regular game time in the last year or so has called his future at the club into question.
And reports suggest that new Saints manager Ralph Hasenhuttl does not have the England international in his plans to take the South Coast outfit forward, which is news that should be of keen interest to Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers, with the door very much ajar for the Northern Irishman to lure the 30-year-old back to Parkhead.
Ultimately, while Craig Gordon has been a terrific servant to the Scottish Premiership champions following his move from Sunderland back in 2012, the goalkeeper turned 36 at the rear end of last year to call into question just how much longer he has at the top of the Scottish game.
And with a couple of big errors in the last 12 months or so, one of which almost costing Celtic their place in the knockout stages of the Europa League this season, Rodgers may well be eyeing up a possible replacement for the former Scotland international, albeit that doesn’t appear to be his deputy Scott Bain given he has played just twice in the league this term.
And given how well Forster performed during his four-year spell at Celtic Park, alongside the likelihood that he’ll be looking for a new club this month, Rodgers may not get a better opportunity to lure the shot-stopper back north of the border.
The 30-year-old may well have started his professional career in the North East with Newcastle United, but it was during his time at Celtic, which comprised of two loan spells and two years there permanently, in which the England international really made a name for himself.
Forster kept a staggering 21 clean sheets and shipped only 22 goals in his first season at Parkhead in 2010/11 as Neil Lennon’s men finished second to Rangers in the league, before conceding two goals fewer the season after as the Bhoys went one better and were crowned Scottish champions.
And it was in the summer of 2012 in which Celtic made his move permanent, and the 30-year-old continued to go from strength to strength with 15 clean sheets in 34 league appearances in the 2012/13 campaign, before appearing in all but one of their Scottish Premiership matches in 2013/14 as they clinched a third straight title under Lennon.
Overall, Forster finished his time at Parkhead with a sensational 101 clean sheets in just 197 appearances for the Bhoys to underline his adeptness between the sticks, and it’s arguable that he has since become a better goalkeeper given he has featured six times for England over the years, and indeed played a part in helping Southampton re-establish themselves in the Premier League.
Yes, things haven’t been great recently for Forster, with his indifferent form in 2017 costing him his place in the Saints first team, but there is no doubting that a fresh start somewhere he has produced some of his best football could get the best out of him once again – at the age of 30, he still has plenty of time to rediscover his best form.
And with Celtic ideally in need of a long-term replacement for Gordon, alongside Forster’s likely Southampton departure in the near future, Rodgers may not get a better opportunity to lure the £9 million-rated star (as per Transfermarkt) back to Parkhead.
Celtic fans… what do you think? Let us know!