Celtic’s attempts to sign Croatia attacking midfielder Luka Ivanusec have proven to be in vain after he instead opted to join Dinamo Zagreb in a five-year deal.
According to The Scottish Sun, Celtic had proposed a deal worth £4.5m to Lokomotiva Zagreb for the youngster, who had also attracted interest from Olympiakos.
However, he instead chose to sign for Dinamo Zagreb, who were willing to pay his full £2.75m transfer fee up front, as reported by The Scottish Sun.
Ivanusec, who has two senior caps for Croatia, had been playing with Lokomotiva Zagreb’s first team since the 2015/16 season.
He has scored 10 goals and provided 13 assists for the club in 92 appearances, averaging a goal per 9.2 games and an assist every 7.08 games.
Last season he netted six times and supplied five assists in 34 games for Lokomotiva Zagreb, an average of one goal per 5.67 games and an assist every 6.8 games.
Ivanusec plays mostly in a number 10 role but has adapted to numerous positions in the early years of his professional career, having also played as a defensive and central midfielder, as well as on the left and right flanks (via Transfermarkt).
Indeed, the attacking midfielder has produced one goal and two assists in three league fixtures this season.
Had he joined Celtic, he would have had plenty of competition in the attacking midfield sector with Callum McGregor, Ryan Christie, Tom Rogic and Ewan Henderson.
Although Rogic has yet to play this season due to injury and Henderson has only had a minute of first team action, the other two have made their presence felt for Neil Lennon’s side in the early weeks of the campaign.
McGregor has two goals and an assist to his name, even if he looked out of place in an unfamiliar left-back role in the defeat to CFR Cluj last week.
Christie has been in tremendous form, with eight goals and three assists in nine appearances since the start of the campaign. The Hoops’ next highest scorer, Odsonne Edouard, has only half that number of goals so far in 2019/20.
Ivanusec had a decent goal return from last season and had scored once in three games for Lokomotiva Zagreb in the early weeks of the current campaign.
However, his scoring return is emphatically trumped by Christie’s current form, while McGregor had a productive 2018/19 with six goals and 16 assists from 59 appearances.
Ivanusec may have matched McGregor’s scoring return last season from fewer games, but the Celtic man created many more goals than the Croatia attacker.
Therefore, with both Christie and McGregor contributing to plenty of goals from attacking midfield, Celtic shouldn’t be unduly affected by missing out on the signature of Ivanusec.
Celtic fans, do you think Ivanusec would have been a good signing if he accepted the Hoops’ advances? Join in the discussion by commenting below!Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!