Celtic supporters in the Transfer Tavern are very much looking forward to the remainder of the summer transfer window, what with their side eyeing up the signings that can take them to the next level next season.
Brendan Rodgers’ men once again dominated football in Scotland this term in winning the Scottish Premiership, the Scottish Cup, and the Scottish League Cup titles, thus clinching back-to-back domestic trebles. But to do that again next season, the Bhoys will certainly have to strengthen, while they will also be hoping to improve their results on the European stage after losing meekly to Zenit St Petersburg in the last-32 of the Europa League this time round.
As such, there are many expectant Celtic supporters in the Tavern at present, although they are likely to be intrigued by recent reports suggesting that both Belgium’s Dedryck Boyata and Sweden’s Mikael Lustig could miss the Bhoys’ opening qualifying clash for this season’s Champions League.
Both have been named in their respective country’s 23-man squads for this summer’s World Cup, and with right back Lustig appearing 47 times in all last term, his absence is likely to be a big blow, which is why Rodgers must seek a reunion with £4.5 million-rated defender Javier Manquillo (as per Transfermarkt) at Parkhead.
The 24-year-old returned to English football last summer in teaming up with Rafa Benitez at Newcastle United, yet the former Liverpool ace, who played under Rodgers back in 2014 and 2015, only mustered 21 Premier League appearances for the Magpies this term, just four of which came in 2018.
And with the ex-Spain youth international seemingly way down on Benitez’s pecking order at St James’ Park, Rodgers should seek to lure him to Celtic Park in a bid to bolster his ranks in the absence of Sweden’s Lustig.
Ultimately, the right back did a solid job when called upon by Benitez in the early phase of the campaign, and alongside time under Rodgers at Anfield a few years ago, the Northern Irishman will know exactly what qualities the Spaniard brings to the table.
And having also turned out at left back for the Magpies at times this season, Manquillo would also give Rodgers another option in that department, thus underling his status as not only a squad player, but one that can challenge for a regular starting berth at Parkhead.
Clearly, having appeared so regularly last term, Celtic will be set back by the absence of Lustig at the start of the campaign, and with the first qualifying round of the Champions League likely to provide a stern test, Rodgers’ men must be ready with dependable and reliable options in all areas of the pitch – ultimately, their season could be pretty much over were they to lose in that first qualifying round.
And with the World Cup calling for Lustig, but not for Newcastle’s Manquillo, the Celtic chief should seek to reunite with the 24-year-old by luring him to Parkhead.
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