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Celtic: Ismaila Soro move to Parkhead could be scuppered by interest from Genk

Celtic: Ismaila Soro move to Parkhead could be scuppered by interest from Genk

The potential move of Ivorian midfielder Ismaila Soro to Celtic appears to have taken another twist, with reports of competition for his signature.

The Daily Record reported on Monday that the £2m-rated Bnei Yehuda player had agreed a deal with Celtic, according to his club’s manager Elisha Levy, who said he “knew he was going” when he took the managerial post recently.

However, Sky Sports claimed on Tuesday that the Hoops have been joined in the race for the 21-year-old by Belgian outfit Genk, with the possibility of a battle for his signature ensuing.

Defensive midfielder Soro has been a fixture in Bnei Yehuda’s line-up this season, starting all but one league game for the club and being ever-present in 16 of his 17 appearances in the Israeli top flight. He also started each of their Europa League qualifying matches back in the summer. [via TransferMarkt]

While he hasn’t managed to contribute to any goals yet this term, he has a reasonably good disciplinary record of just four bookings from 2,029 minutes of game-time (one per 507.25 minutes). By way of comparison, his Celtic counterpart Scott Brown has been shown eight yellow cards in 3,125 minutes in the current campaign, an average of one every 390.62 minutes. However, the Hoops captain has also scored four goals and set up another.

In an article on Read Celtic, Oliver Birch described Soro as a “busy defensive midfielder who enjoys a strong challenge and breaking up play”, adding that he is a “bundle of energy who is good on the ball and has the ability to jink past players in midfield after dispossessing them”.

If Celtic were to lure the Ivorian to Parkhead, he would be their second signing from the Israeli top flight in the last few months after they purchased defender Hatem Abd Elhamed from Hapoel Be’er Sheva last summer. The 28-year-old had seemed to settle in well to life in Glasgow, starting the Hoops’ first four Europa League group games before suffering a muscle injury that has kept him out since early November (as per TransferMarkt).

While Soro contributes little in terms of goals, Celtic already have several midfielders who have excelled in this regard in 2019/20, with Ryan Christie, James Forrest, Callum McGregor and Olivier Ntcham contributing to 79 goals between them, and the 21-year-old seems to possess plenty of quality in terms of winning possession and using it efficiently based on Birch’s assessment.

Also, at £2m, he could well be a cost-effective addition to Neil Lennon’s squad, especially in the context of current Hoops midfielders Ntcham and Eboue Kouassi costing £4.5m (BBC) and £3m (STV) respectively, with the latter managing just 22 appearances in three years at the club. Therefore, a £2m deal for Soro would seem like tidy business from Celtic and, after reportedly being close to agreeing a deal for the Ivorian (as per Daily Record), it would feel rather anti-climactic if they were to miss out to Genk for him.

Celtic fans, are you confident that the club will sign Soro this month? Do you think he would be a good addition if he comes to Parkhead? Share your views in the comments section below!

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Article title: Celtic: Ismaila Soro move to Parkhead could be scuppered by interest from Genk

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