Five potential transfer targets for Scottish champions Celtic
Celtic rallied to another dominant domestic campaign in Ronny Deila’s maiden season in charge at Parkhead, securing both Scottish Premiership and League Cup victories, but the Bhoys will be looking to bolster their ranks ahead of next term when they will make a fresh assault on the Champions League.
This summer Hoops boss Deila will seek several new faces in his squad, and here are five possible transfer targets which the Norwegian coach could aim to lure to Glasgow.
Watford winger Anya has enjoyed a successful Championship season, having helped his side return to the Premier League but, with no contract extension seemingly set to be offered soon, the 27-year-old could be open to a switch to Glasgow, as his current deal expires in 12 months.
At international level, the Scotland wideman has also been involved in an impressive Euro 2016 qualifying campaign so far, recently assisting Shaun Maloney’s equaliser in a crucial 1-1 draw with the Republic of Ireland in Dublin, who are 13/5 to qualify with Coral.
The talented attacker has been consistently excellent under Gordon Strachan but has somewhat been unable to convert that level of regular brilliance for his national side at Watford. However, Deila could see the best of this late blooming forward in his native homeland in a new chapter of his revitalised club career.
In what would be an audacious move for one of the rising stars in Europe, a loan deal for Odegaard isn’t that far-fetched considering the young playmaker’s desire for regular first-team action and a previous connection with Deila.
Celtic’s instantly successful coach Deila worked closely with the 16-year-old at his first professional club Stromsgodset, and a reunion would be hugely beneficial for both parties next season. The Bhoys could offer Odegaard a chance to feature in the Champions League, with the Real prospect seeking a loan spell if a regular first-team spot isn’t guaranteed, having been playing for Madrid’s youth set-up Castilla this term.
Sunderland’s indifferent striker Fletcher netted only eight times in the top-flight this term, but could easily thrive in Glasgow under the watchful guidance of Deila (odds-on 1/25 to retain title).
The 28-year-old still possesses a keen eye for goal, despite a stuttering term on Wearside, and is well aware of the challenge in Scotland, having featured for Hibernian for five seasons after promotion from the club’s youth academy.
Although, a stumbling block for such a switch is Fletcher’s substantial wages, with the Scotland international needing to take a significant pay-cut in order to complete a move, something the English top-flight forward may be unwilling to do towards the latter stages of his career.
Having spent the season on-loan at Middlesbrough, Belgian forward Vossen was hoping to use his stint in the North East to boost his international profile and maybe challenge the likes of Premier League stars Kevin Mirallas and Romelu Lukakau for a regular spot in the national side (12/1 to win Euro 2016).
After netting nine goals, including a vital Championship play-off strike against Brentford, Vossen has certainly grabbed Celtic’s attention, but it’s Boro who have first choice on his permanent signature, meaning the Bhoys may miss out on the Genk attacker nicknamed ‘the Magician’.
A relatively unknown full back, though still highly promising, Halstenberg could arrive at Parkhead to bolster the defensive options for Deila. The 23-year-old German has been very impressive in Bundesliga II for St Pauli, having joined from top tier giants Borussia Dortmund in 2011.
The Hoops are believed to be pushing for a £400k deal for the left back, who would provide competition for Honduras international Emilio Izaguirre, or potentially replace the current Bhoys defender whose contract expires in 2017, with Celtic possibly ready to cash-in on their left sided star before that deal comes to an end.