Celtic have identified England under-20 goalkeeper Josef Bursik as a potential transfer target next year.
Football Insider reported that the Hoops are keeping tabs on the 19-year-old, who is currently on loan at Accrington Stanley from English Championship club Stoke.
According to Football Insider, Celtic are determined to clinch the signature of the teenager, who will be out of contract at his parent club at the end of this season and has attracted the interest of Premier League clubs south of the border.
Celtic’s interest in Bursik would appear to be very much with the long-term picture in mind, given how raw he is at senior level.
He made his league debut in last week’s 4-1 thrashing of Portsmouth, a game in which he recorded two saves, and while he may have very little senior experience, he was in the England squad that won the Under-17 World Cup two years ago.
Celtic have signed several youngsters in recent months, bringing in teenagers such as Lee O’Connor, Jeremie Frimpong, Luca Connell and Jonathan Afolabi last summer, so their interest in Bursik should not seem wholly surprising.
While most of the above players have yet to feature for the Hoops’ first team, right-back Frimpong has been a revelation with two goals and three assists from 13 games, so the Parkhead club have shown a keen eye for an unpolished gem.
Also, they could find themselves rather light in the goalkeeping department next year, with a potential permanent move for on-loan Fraser Forster complicated by his £70,000-a-week wages (as per Football Insider) and Craig Gordon reportedly considering retirement when his current Hoops deal expires next summer (Football Insider). The departures of those two would leave Scott Bain as Celtic’s only senior goalkeeper.
Celtic would be taking a chance on Bursik given how inexperienced he is at first-team level and, as he has made only a solitary League One appearance so far this season, he would likely need to bide his time at Parkhead if he were to join.
However, the possibility of losing two senior goalkeepers next summer ought to make that position a transfer window priority for the Hoops and, as Frimpong has shown, it is not unknown for prodigious young signings to make a significant impact at Celtic.
Also, with the possibility of Bursik arriving on a free if he isn’t offered a new deal at Stoke, he would represent a low-risk signing for the Hoops if they were to get him.
Celtic fans, would you like to see the club signing Bursik next year? Would it be a sensible move given the uncertainty over Forster and Gordon? Have your say by commenting below!
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