Bristol Post journalist Gregor MacGregor has reported on Twitter that Bristol City have won the race to sign Filip Benkovic.
He states in his tweet that Bristol have beaten Championship rivals Middlesbrough to his signing. However, there was no mention of Celtic in the tweet, which you can view below:
We are told that #BristolCity have won the race for defender Filip Benkovic. Arriving on loan. Have beaten Middlesbrough to his signing. Croatia international defender. More coming up on @bristolcitylive shortly. Announcement imminent. 🇭🇷
— Gregor MacGregor (@GeeMacGee) January 31, 2020
Benkovic had been linked with Celtic as recently as last night. We were mentioned by the Northern Echo as one of four teams in the running for his services.
However, it looks as though Celtic fans are set for futher disappointment. The Benkovic news comes only hours after a host of sources have claimed that Victor Wanyama also won’t be going to Celtic (Daily Record).
Therefore, for the optimists out there, that’s two potential big-name deadline-day arrivals that don’t look like coming to Celtic Park.
A head in hands moment
The news that Benkovic won’t be returning to Parkhead is massively disappointing. Even if it’s felt like he would move elsewhere for some time, the fact we’re now so close to missing out on him is gutting.
At the time of writing, Celtic have three hours before the end of the transfer window. We haven’t been linked to another centre-back outside of Benkovic. Therefore, it looks as though we just won’t be signing one.
BBC journalist Alasdair Lamont stated via their live blog (18:20) that a winger was Celtic’s priority. However, he also claimed that if the club doesn’t do anything then they’ll be happy.
You can see why Celtic might want a right-winger given James Forrest’s lack of cover. There’s even a case to add a left-winger given recent injuries in that position.
However, we’re going to Hamilton on Sunday with not a single available centre-back in reserve. Outside of Christopher Jullien and Kristoffer Ajer, we’re stumped for options. Jozo Simunovic is to be rested for Sunday (Scottish Sun), whilst Nir Bitton is still out.
Hopefully both men are back ready to compete ASAP, because as things stand, Celtic are putting all of their chips on it.