Departures have so far been non-existent at Parkhead this month, but who could seal moves away before January ends?
Yes, Celtic have a host of players either out-of-contract at the end of the season, or itching for loan deals.
All players in the final six months of their contracts are free to talk to other clubs. But it’s likely that Celtic don’t want that to happen with one or two of them at this stage of the season.
Then there are those just not getting a game at Parkhead. Players who either need to find some confidence again, or just get out of a club they’ve no chance of a future with.
So who could be setting sights on a move this month, and which players fall into which category?
The out-of-contract stars
Two in particular stand out here.
First of all, Scott Brown’s final few months of his contract has brought interest from Australia in Western Melbourne. Fortunately for Celtic, it looks as though the Aussies have suffered a big blow in their attempts to sign the Parkhead captain.
Regardless, he could easily still sign up for a pre-contact agreement if they come back in.
Then there’s Dedryck Boyata. He’s consistently fooled the supporters in the past, and doesn’t have the best reputation at the club. His performances this season have been impressive enough once again, but his lack of commitment is off-putting.
Supporters wouldn’t be too disappointed if he signed for another club permanently this month. With his agent stating that there are no plans to talk to Celtic about a new deal, the Hoops should look to offload him now.
Other notable players into the final months include Mikael Lustig, Emilio Izaguirre, Cristian Gamboa, Scott Allan, and Dorus de Vries. In truth, none of them would be missed. Lustig, however, deserves praise for his service to the club if he does depart.
That lists out all of those out of contract. Only these players are available to talk to other clubs as of now without Celtic’s permission. Some pre-contracts, therefore, must be on the agenda for several of them.
The ones who need a loan move
Of the senior squad at Celtic, not many could be heading out on loan deals.
The two main ones that stand out are both Lewis Morgan and Jonny Hayes. Both find themselves in the same position at Parkhead – struggling to get a game ahead of James Forrest and Scott Sinclair.
Neither would be missed for the second half of the season. The pair have no goals or assists between them in 20 outings between them in the first half of the campaign. Therefore, surely a top priority would be to get one or both out for the next six months.
Outside of that, some of the players in the final few months of their deals could also be shifted out on loan. The likes of de Vries and Allan have absolutely no chance of breaking through. A pair of loan opportunities for the duo could give them a chance to showcase their talents ahead of their contracts expiring.
Jack Hendry is another who could be making way after falling out-of-favour. Sunderland and Portsmouth have been linked with him in the past. A short six-month loan stint would make sense.
Ideally, Jozo Simunovic would also be let out for six months. Unfortunately, a lack of strength in depth at the back means he’ll have to stick around. At the moment, however, he isn’t looking comfortable when given opportunities.
These are all of the players who could potentially depart this month, or sign a pre-contract deal before the end of the window.
Which of them would be missed in your view should a deal happen? Should anyone else go out on loan from the senior squad? Let us know in the comments below.