Celtic are interested in Southampton's Jonathan Afolabi - Report

By David Walton

December 30, 2018

Just hours after the club were linked with a move for Vakoun Issouf Bayo, interest in another forward has surfaced.

According to Football Insider, Celtic are looking at signing Jonathan Afolabi of Southampton.

For those unaware of the player, he’s yet to make a senior appearance for the Saints. Despite that, however, he’s regarded as one of the best young talents at the club.

Celtic have certainly seen plenty of transfers go in the other direction in recent years. The English Premier League side have plucked the likes of Virgil Van Dijk, Fraser Forster, and Victor Wanyama from the Hoops. Now, however, the shoe could be on the other foot.

Jonathan Afolabi has impressed hugely with Southampton’s youth squads (James Bridle – Southampton FC/Southampton FC via Getty Images)

Over the last 18 months, Afolabi has featured for the under-23 and under-18 sides at St Mary’s. Despite how highly regarded he is, however, his contract is up at the end of the season.

According to the source, Celtic have monitored the young forward for a while. They’ve been impressed with his exploits with the Saints youth sides. This has led to them looking to do a deal either in January for a small fee or sign him up on a pre-contract next month.

Afolabi still to make a real mark in the game

Afolabi is a Republic of Ireland under-19 international, but has yet to make his mark in the senior game. He joined Southampton from St Joseph’s Boys over two years ago.

Earlier on today, Celtic had also been linked with Bayo. He falls into the same category as Afolabi in terms of signings that could be seen as long-term. Neither would particularly excite Celtic supporters to any great extent.

Brendan Rodgers has already stated in the past that he wants several strikers to arrive in January. If there’s anything in this, however, Rodgers clearly doesn’t see it as an essential buy. Considering the fact Celtic would apparently be happy to wait until the end of the season to bring him on board, other acquisitions would be expected.

Vakoun Issouf Bayo has also been linked with a move to Celtic today (Bertrand Langlois/AFP/Getty Images)

This would be worth keeping an eye on, however. If he’s as highly-rated as is believed, then you have to wonder why he’s in the final few months of his contract. You would also expect some serious competition for his signature in January.

Celtic have dipped into the youth ranks in England on many occasions in the past. The most recent signing in that market being Armstrong Okoflex, the former Arsenal youngster who signed for the club last year.