Celtic could soon be on the lookout for a new goalkeeper after recruitment chief Nick Hammond was instructed by the club to search for potential recruits for that position.
Football Insider reported that Hammond has been told to find a new ‘keeper for the Hoops to replace Craig Gordon, with the veteran out of contract at the end of this season and the club not planning to offer him a renewal. Football Insider had claimed in late January that the 37-year-old’s former club Hearts had been planning a last-gasp transfer window move for the goalkeeper, but no such move materialised.
Gordon’s only Celtic appearance since the end of September came in a Europa League defeat to CFR Cluj in which Hoops manager Neil Lennon made nine changes to his starting line-up as they had already guaranteed top spot in Group E (as per Sky Sports). Along with Scott Bain, he has frequently had to watch on as Fraser Forster was consistently given the nod in goal by Lennon.
Indeed, the 37-year-old has not even made the bench in Celtic’s two most recent matches, with Bain included in the matchday squads for the trips to Hamilton and Motherwell after recovering from a long-term thumb injury (as per TransferMarkt).
Forster has excelled between the sticks for the Hoops this season, conceding just 13 times in 23 Premiership games and keeping 12 clean sheets. He pulled off a string of saves in the 4-0 win at Fir Park in midweek when Celtic were under the cosh for lengthy spells in the first half before romping clear after the interval (as per Sky Sports).
Gordon has been a tremendous servant to Celtic over the years, making 242 appearances for the club and winning 13 domestic trophies (including five league titles), but Forster’s imperious form has seen the 37-year-old reduced to the role of backup. It is therefore no great surprise that the Hoops consider the veteran ‘keeper dispensable as he nears the end of his contract and career, as well as having Bain (contracted to 2023) available for action again.
However, Forster is currently due to return to his parent club Southampton when his loan at Parkhead expires at the end of the season, so it is no wonder that Hammond has been told now to start looking for a new ‘keeper. It’s a decision that will need to be considered very carefully given that Gordon’s time at the club appears to be reaching a conclusion and there is no guarantee of Forster being around for 2020/21 either.
Celtic fans, do you think the club’s willingness to let Gordon leave in the summer is the right move or does it run the risk of the squad being left short on goalkeepers? Join in the discussion by commenting below!
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