Celtic are understood to be getting closer to securing a loan deal for Bournemouth attacker Jordon Ibe as Neil Lennon seeks to bolster his attacking options.
The Daily Express reported that the Hoops are closing in on the loan signing of the 23-year-old and are hoping to complete the deal before the Scottish Premiership transfer window closes on September 2nd.
According to the Daily Express, Celtic had initially hoped to secure Ibe on a permanent deal, but they were unwilling to meet Bournemouth’s valuation of around £20m.
The Daily Express added that the Scottish champions are not the only team eyeing up a move for the winger, with Fiorentina, Napoli and Galatasaray also reportedly interested in him.
Ibe became Bournemouth’s most expensive signing of all time when he joined the Cherries from Liverpool for £15m three years ago, although that status now belongs to Jefferson Lerma after his £25m move from Levante last year.
He has not featured in either of the Cherries’ two Premier League games so far this season, failing to make it off the bench against either Sheffield United or Aston Villa, and he started only nine matches in the league in 2018/19.
Celtic’s current wingers proved their value to the team once again in Saturday’s 2-1 extra time victory over Dunfermline in the Betfred Cup, the goals coming from wide men James Forrest and Mikey Johnston.
Forrest, the current SPFL Player of the Year, already has four goals and three assists from his eight appearances this season, scoring 80% of Ibe’s total at Bournemouth in 9.1% of the number of games.
Last season, the 28-year-old scored 18 goals and supplied 20 assists in 56 appearances for Celtic, averaging 0.32 goals and 0.36 assists per game.
Johnston has three goals and three assists from six games so far in 2018/19, averaging 0.5 per game for both metrics.
Ibe’s goal contribution for Bournemouth has been massively underwhelming, especially for a player who was once the club’s record signing.
Even if either or both were to be unavailable, Neil Lennon already has several other players in his squad to cover the left and right wings, which makes Celtic’s pursuit of the ineffective Ibe seem perplexing.
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