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.
Kristoffer Ajer targeted by Leicester
The Daily Mail reported that Celtic defender Kristoffer Ajer is high on a list of central defensive transfer targets at Leicester, who scouted the 21-year-old in last week’s Europa League win against Lazio.
According to the Daily Mail, Foxes manager Brendan Rodgers is keen to reinforce that part of his squad, with Harry Maguire sold in the summer and captain Wes Morgan now 36.
It shouldn’t come as any great surprise that Rodgers would want Ajer at Leicester, having worked with the defender at Celtic and given him 66 appearances for the Hoops.
The 21-year-old has been a key presence in Neil Lennon’s line-up this season, playing all but two games so far in 2019/20, and has shown a readiness to adapt to right-back when needed, in addition to his regular centre-back role. [via TransferMarkt]
Ajer’s performance against Lazio was praised by numerous reporters, including David Friel of The Scottish Sun and Hamish Carton of 67hailhail.com, illustrating how vital he is to this Celtic side and how tough a task it would be to replace him if he were to be sold.
Fraser Forster’s Celtic future not up to the club, says Neil Lennon
Neil Lennon has said that Fraser Forster’s future at Celtic is out of their hands, insisting that the goalkeeper and his parent club Southampton will have the final say when his loan spell expires at the end of the season.
The 31-year-old came back to the Hoops for a second spell at the club when he signed on loan from the Saints in August and Lennon told the Daily Record: “There are so many factors in it. We’re grateful for the loan from Southampton. It depends on what the player wants to do and then what Southampton want to do as well.”
Forster has been Lennon’s first choice in the Premiership and Europa League over the last two months, keeping five clean sheets in his 11 games this season and conceding only seven goals. [via TransferMarkt]
He showed his importance to the team with a stunning last-minute save from Danilo Cataldi in the 2-1 win over Lazio last Thursday, one of four he made against the Serie A side, and Lennon told the Daily Record that it was just the latest of a string of excellent European performances from the goalkeeper.
If Forster keeps up that form throughout the season, Celtic should do everything in their power to persuade him to stay at the club beyond next summer, given his displays for the Hoops in recent weeks.
Bevis Mugabi reveals that he nearly became a Celtic player at 16
Motherwell defender Bevis Mugabi has revealed that he almost became a Celtic player as a teenager, having had trials with the club earlier this decade.
The Uganda right-back told The Scottish Sun that he spent a week with the Hoops as a trialist in 2011 when he was 16, saying: “I’d been at Fulham and I came up for a week to train at Lennoxtown. I don’t remember much about who the staff were — but I do remember it was really cold!”
Mugabi may not have signed for Celtic but he has some experience of playing in green and white hoops, making 102 appearances for Yeovil during their time in England’s League Two.
His struggles to get into a Motherwell team nine points behind Celtic in the Premiership table, along with his near-total lack of top division experience, suggests that he wouldn’t have become a mainstay with the Hoops if his 2011 trial ended with him signing for the club.
Celtic fans, what are your thoughts on these stories concerning your club? Comment below with your views!Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!