Celtic appear to have identified their top priority before Midtjylland tie
The Celtic vs Midtjylland Champions League qualifying tie is closing in on us already.
Ange Postecoglou will take charge of his first competitive game on July 20th when that one rolls around. However, whilst there is plenty of excitement in the air surrounding it, there’s some fear too.
That’s stemming from the fact we have horrific defensive shortages heading into the tie as things stand. With Kris Ajer reportedly set to depart, our first-choice backline looks worrying. The inexperienced Stephen Welsh partnering Nir Bitton is concerning enough. The prospect of Anthony Ralston at right-back? Even more so.
Celtic have until July 15th to register their squad for the Midtjylland games. Three weeks today in fact. But the recent signs have been promising.
With Postecoglou now firmly in the hotseat, the recruitment work can finally begin. And if the recent transfer reports are anything to go by, Celtic have identified centre-back as their main area of concern.
Celtic linked with a host of centre-backs ahead of Midtjylland tie
Today, the Hoops were said to be interested in Ecuador international Piero Hincapie [Mundo Deportivo]. Regardless of whether you think we’ll get him or not, he follows several other central defenders in being linked as new Celtic signings.
Last night, the Scottish Sun claimed that Celtic had opened talks with Hajduk Split regarding the potential transfer of Mario Vuskovic. The Croatian under-21 international has plenty of potential and, given his ball-playing ability out from the back, would make the perfect Ajer replacement.
You then have the news that we were interested in Kenyan international Joseph Okumu [Aftonbladet] and Midtjylland captain Erik Sviatchenko [Daily Record]. The former completed a move to Gent whilst the latter is unlikely to happen with both sides now drawn together.
But what it suggests is that Celtic know where they need to recruit. The vast majority of recent transfer news has come focused on the centre-backs. It hasn’t been the same intensity in speculation with the centre-forward position, for example. The same goes for the two wing slots where we need recruitments in.
It’s promising to see that there’s a strong focus on centre-back recruits. Not forgetting the fact that there’s an urgent need for a right-back too. Thankfully, it looks as though work is ongoing to sort out our backline.
Given the quality we’re up against in Europe, of course, that’s a non-negotiable.