Celtic look set to abandon any interest they may have had in one left-back transfer target who had been linked with the club earlier this month.
The Scottish Sun reported today that the Hoops are unlikely to pursue a move for Rosenborg defender Birger Meling.
Earlier in August, Norwegian TV pundit Jesper Mathisen claimed that the 24-year-old was being “hunted” by Celtic, according to the Evening Times, while Croatian outlet Index.hr reported that the Hoops were declaring a strong interest in the player.
However, this morning’s report in The Scottish Sun suggests that Meling will not be coming to the club in this transfer window.
Meling, who has 10 caps for Norway, is somewhat familiar to Celtic after playing against the Hoops four times in European competition last season, twice each in the Champions League qualifiers (scoring in the away leg) and Europa League group stage.
Despite the aforementioned speculation linking him with Celtic this month, he has played in all seven of Rosenborg’s Champions League qualifying games in the current campaign, setting up a goal in their first game against Linfield last month.
Meling is conventionally a left-back, having made 158 of his 196 club appearances (80.6%) from that position, although he has also operated at centre-back and right-back, in addition to sporadic appearances as a left winger and defensive midfielder. [via TransferMarkt.co.uk]
He has a return of eight goals and 22 assists in his club career, an average of one goal per 24.5 games and an assist every 8.9 games.
His versatility could have been a tremendous asset to a Celtic team who don’t have a plethora of options in either full-back role.
In Meling’s familiar left-back position, Boli Bolingoli has started all but one of the Hoops’ matches so far this term but has been culpable of goal-causing errors, while his only backup Calvin Miller has featured only five times in total for the first team.
Central defender Kristoffer Ajer has been deputising at right-back recently with Hatem Abd Elhamed injured and Anthony Ralston featuring only twice for the first team this season.
Meling has shown that he can be an effective attacking outlet from the left-hand side in terms of both goals and assists, as Celtic know from last season.
With Meling valued at just £1.35m on TransferMarkt.co.uk and boasting an impressive goal involvements ratio, and with Celtic seeming threadbare for left-back cover, it seems rather surprising that the Hoops are unlikely to pursue a possible deal for the 24-year-old.
Celtic fans, do you think the club should still try to sign Meling before the transfer window closes? Share your views in the comments section below!Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!