Celtic midfielder Eboue Kouassi has emerged as a transfer target for Greek Super League club Panathinaikos and could be in line for a mid-season move.
Football Insider reported that Panathinaikos intend to closely monitor the 21-year-old ahead of a possible transfer in January.
According to Football Insider, the Greek club considered making a bid for Kouassi during the summer but relented due to the player’s ongoing recovery from a cruciate ligament injury.
Football Insider added that Celtic are open to sending the defensive midfielder out on loan, although it remains unclear if they would entertain a permanent move for him.
Celtic completed the signing of Kouassi from FC Krasnodar in January 2017, with STV Sport reporting the fee to be roughly £3m.
The Ivorian midfielder has struggled to gain regular first team football with the Hoops, making just 22 appearances since coming to the club and failing to score, providing a solitary assist. [via TransferMarkt.co.uk]
His entire Celtic career has incorporated 966 minutes of game time in more than two and a half years, albeit with the bulk of one year written off to his long-term injury.
To put that into context, seven Hoops players have already played more than that this season. Boli Bolingoli, who only came to the club in July, has amassed 1,084 minutes in a Celtic career that is currently two and a half months old.
In July, the Daily Record reported quotes from manager Neil Lennon saying that Kouassi was back in training, but the 21-year-old has not featured this season and the Celtic boss told The Scottish Sun that he was interested in bringing defensive midfielder Victor Wanyama back to the club and could make a move for him in January.
Even before Kouassi’s cruciate ligament injury, he found it quite difficult to hold down a place in Celtic’s first team, while Lennon’s interest in Wanyama seems to indicate that he would rather have the Tottenham man than Kouassi in his squad.
Also, with Nir Bitton regularly moved to centre-back and Luca Connell yet to play for the first team, Lennon took to fielding central midfielder Scott Brown and attacking midfielder Callum McGregor in the defensive midfield area against Hamilton last Saturday.
With Celtic rather light in defensive midfield options as it is, Kouassi should not be jettisoned even though he has been a peripheral figure at the club so far.
Celtic fans, should the club try to keep Kouassi or is it time to move him on in January? Join in the discussion by commenting below!
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