Celtic’s domestic history is one littered with success, broken records and a general theme of dominance – particularly since Rangers’ demise – but the Champions League is a competition which has represented a step too far for them in the last 4 years.
Indeed, Celtic have not qualified for the last-sixteen of the Champions League since they suffered a 5-0 aggregate defeat against Juventus in 2013. Since then they have failed to move beyond the ground stage on 3 occasions, whilst they didn’t even qualify for the group stage in the 2015/16 season.
However, Celtic’s latest acquisition from Paris Saint-Germain, namely Odsonne Eduoarde, put in a performance against Rosenborg which suggested the club have a genuine attacking talent on their hands who could make all the difference next season.
And according to The Turkish media outlet Takvim, Brendan Rodgers is lining up another summer deal, this time for a talent who possesses the potential to make a significant impact in the defensive third: no other than the former Celtic employee Jason Denayer.
Meanwhile, a report from The Scotsman claims that reports in Turkish media are suggesting Galatasary are interested in signing Denayer for a fee in the region of £9 million, so Celtic are unlikely to have it all their own way in their pursuit of the 23-year-old centre-back.
Although it’s not stated that £9 million would be enough to prise the Belgium international away from Manchester City, it seems incredibly unlikely that the club would turn down an offer of that size for a player who is effectively surplus to requirements at the Etihad Stadium.
With that in mind, Rodgers must do everything in his power to convince Denayer to return to Celtic Park this summer rather than return to Turkey, as his impact at the heart of defence could make all the difference as the club bid to break tradition by qualifying for the knockout stages of the Champions League next season.
Not only does Denayer have Champions League experience, a glowing association with Celtic and a calming defensive presence to offer the club, he has also spent time training alongside some of the world’s best players under one of the world’s best managers in Pep Guardiola, and that experience alone could give the Bhoys a significant edge in Europe.
Celtic know they can expect quality in abundance from Denayer and plenty of improvement from the young player in the seasons to come, so, providing he is available at £9 million, they would be foolish not to make a very sound investment before the window slams shut.
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