In this instalment of our TT Roundup, Football Transfer Tavern have gathered three of the biggest stories to have involved Celtic recently and have provided our thoughts on the reports published.
Hoops scout Ismaila Soro
According to the Daily Record, Celtic sent scouts to Israel last weekend to watch £3m-rated midfielder Ismaila Soro.
The 21-year-old Ivorian was playing for Bnei Yehuda in their 2-1 win over Hapoel Be’er Sheva and has been on a list of the Hoops’ transfer targets. [via Daily Record]
The Daily Record claims that Soro has caught the eye of manager Neil Lennon and director of football Nick Hammond, with Celtic potentially making a move for him in the January transfer window.
Defensive midfielder Soro has started in all but one of Bnei Yehuda’s league games this season and is the latest player in his position to reportedly draw interest from Celtic, following on from Victor Wanyama (Football Insider), David Turnbull (Football Insider) and Niklas Dorsch (The Telegraph).
Oliver Birch of Read Celtic described him as “a bundle of energy who is good on the ball and has the ability to jink past players in midfield after dispossessing them”.
Apart from a handful of Europa League qualifiers, he is untested outside of Eastern European leagues, although the Hoops raided the Israeli league for Hatem Abd Elhamed last summer and he has been a regular in their excellent European campaign to date.
Nick Hammond watches Jarrad Branthwaite in action
Celtic’s director of football Nick Hammond has made a visit to Carlisle in person to watch teenage defender Jarrad Branthwaite in action, according to The Scottish Sun.
There could be a transfer tug-of-war for the teenager’s services, though, with The Scottish Sun adding that Rangers have also sent scouts to watch him.
Branthwaite, a 6 ft 4 centre-back, has broken through at Carlisle this season, making six starts in League Two for Steven Pressley’s side after his debut against Blackpool in the EFL trophy. [via TransferMarkt]
However, with him only starting out now at English League Two level, he would likely join young Celtic defender Lee O’Connor in needing to bide his time before getting his chance in the first team.
Hamilton manager has high praise for Celtic
Hamilton manager Brian Rice is under no illusions about the size of the task facing his team as they travel to Parkhead to face Celtic on Wednesday night.
He told PA [via Sports Mole]: “They are steamrollering teams. The goals they have scored in the last games – sixes, fours and fives. And that is not counting the chances they are missing and hitting the woodwork and whatever.”
That ruthless nature is what has Neil Lennon’s team top of the Premiership at the moment, with their 44-goal haul one ahead of Rangers, with whom they are level on points (as per Sky Sports).
Celtic fans, what are your thoughts on these stories? Let us know in the comments section below!
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