Bristol City winger Niclas Eliasson has stated that he is “flattered” with speculation linking him to Celtic and others.
Sweden under-21 international Eliasson is entering the final 12 months of his contract at Ashton Gate, leaving the Championship outfit in a dilemma. He’s yet to commit to a new deal, with the player himself leaving it in the hands of his representatives.
This has led to the likes of Celtic, Lazio, and Fenerbahce being linked with Eliasson’s signature (Bristol Post). The player himself has just come off his most productive season yet, netting three goals and bagging 12 assists (Transfermarkt). He’s also featured in the past for Falkenbergs, IFK Norrkoping, and AIK in his homeland.
And opening up on his future, Eliasson has stated that his goal is to one day play in one of Europe’s top leagues. Speaking to Swedish media outlet fotballskanalen, Eliasson’s mind clearly wasn’t made up on his next move.
“There has been some talk about extending [the contract]. But it can swing very fast in this industry, with other clubs and with Bristol City. I’ve put it to my agent. If something concrete happens, I listen.
“I do not want to hear about the slightest interest from Bristol City or another club, but more about something that is really on the table and is serious. It is clear that it is flattering (transfer interest). When you were little you always had a dream of playing in one of the three or four biggest leagues in Europe.
“I’m only 24 years old and I hope I have many years left. I want to take my development in the right direction and become as good a player as possible. I want to test my wings and see how far I can go. Hopefully, I get to experience one of the biggest leagues. I strive for that and, hopefully, I will succeed.”
Celtic could give Eliasson exactly what he’s after
In order for Eliasson to get that big move he’s after, he needs a new stepping stone. Lazio may have been linked with a move for him, but he doesn’t have the pedigree to go waltzing into a top-four club in one of Europe’s super leagues at the moment.
A move to Parkhead would give him an opportunity of more regular game-time if he can prove his worth. Despite operating largely down the right during his career, Eliasson can also feature at left-wing. With Mikey Johnston injured, Celtic could do with some competition for Mo Elyounoussi.
Eliasson would, of course, have to come to the realisation that he wouldn’t just jump straight into our side. He’ll have to show he can cope with the mental pressure of playing at Parkhead. It would be, by far, the biggest leap the winger would have made in his career. A step-up from Bristol City to Celtic cannot be underestimated.
Celtic have already been to watch Eliasson in action (Daily Record). A move failed to materialise in January, but if the player is thinking of leaving Bristol, the Hoops could be able to snap him up in a cut-price deal. That could potentially mean signing a player in a position we could do with some cover in for a minimal fee.
As things stand, the Hoops don’t appear to have followed up from their initial January interest. Going by Eliasson’s comments, however, he could be persuaded if Neil Lennon does come calling this summer.
In other news, Neil Warnock believes Celtic and Rangers would be top six clubs if they operated in the Premier League.