According to a recent report from The Daily Mirror, Karl Darlow could be set for a move away come the New Year. The 28-year-old currently plays his football at Premier League outfit Newcastle United and has done so since leaving Nottingham Forest back in 2014, although a lack of regular game time under Rafa Benitez this season has plunged his future at the club into doubt.
And reports suggest that the Magpies could seek to offload the goalkeeper for just £4 million in the January transfer window, which should be of keen interest to Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers as he eyes a long-term replacement and overall upgrade on current number one shot-stopper Craig Gordon.
Ultimately, Scotland international Gordon has been a tremendous servant to the Scottish heavyweights ever since his move from Sunderland back in 2012, appearing well over 200 times for the Bhoys in the last six or so years, helping them to four successive Scottish Premiership titles.
And while all of that cannot be knocked, there have been signs in the last 12 months or so that Gordon’s best days between the sticks may be behind him – his error in their recent Europa League clash against Salzburg almost cost them dear, only for Rosenborg to bail the 35-year-old out.
And in turning 36 at the end of the year, one wonders just how much longer he has left at the top of the game, and with Scott Bain seemingly struggling to convince of his capabilities as the club’s number two, Rodgers should be on the lookout for his next long-term shot-stopper – Darlow could be his man.
The 28-year-old may have found first team football difficult at Newcastle this season given the form of Martin Dubravka, but one mustn’t gloss over the 59 appearances he has made for the North East giants down the years, 19 of which coming in the Premier League in recent times.
Add in his 111 appearances for Forest during his time in the East Midlands, and Darlow has plenty of experience in some of the toughest divisions in European football – he played a vital role in helping Newcastle win promotion from the Championship in the 2016/17 season with 13 clean sheets in 34 appearances.
And at the age of 28, the Englishman has plenty of football left in him to suggest that he could be the Celtic number one for many years to come – and for just £4 million, given what he has already produced in his career, it could prove to be an absolute steal.
Ultimately, Rodgers deserves huge credit for building a fine squad at Parkhead, with additions such as Moussa Dembele, Scott Sinclair, and Olivier Ntcham proving to be masterstrokes in helping the Bhoys win back-to-back domestic trebles.
And with the goalkeeping ranks likely in need of improvement in the near future, a £4 million deal for Darlow in January is another that could be added to that ever-growing list of Rodgers masterstrokes.
Celtic fans… what do you think? Let us know!