Bristol City head coach Dean Holden has admitted that there is still no update on Celtic-linked winger Niclas Eliasson’s contract situation.
Celtic were mentioned by the Bristol Post as one of several clubs linked with the right-winger earlier this summer, along with Lazio and Fenerbahce respectively.
However, since then the player has remained with the Championship club but has been rooted to their bench. The only appearance made so far this term was an EFL Cup clash against Northampton Town, where he bagged an assist. His lack of appearances is all the more bizarre considering he made 40 outings for Bristol last season and was a key played for them down both flanks (Transfermarkt).
Bristol boss Holden provided an update on his contract situation with his current deal due to expire next summer, and he stated that there remains no updates.
As quoted by the Bristol Post, Holden said: “To be honest, I’ve not spoken to Mark (Ashton, Bristol City Chief Executive), about that over the last week with all the games that have been on. There isn’t any real news on that. We’re quite calm.
“I’m not worried at all about that [the possibility of them not signing and running down their contracts]. For now, they’re training well – since Fam came out of the team after Coventry, he’s trained fantastically well, I have to say – Niclas as well. They’ll both get an opportunity in these next games to come.
“That’s all we’re focusing on at the moment. We’re trying to build that spirit within the group.”
Celtic can’t wait until January for right-wing back-up
Eliasson continues to be a potential option for Celtic if we decide to go down that route. The only real reason Holden has for benching him this season is due to not signing a contract. Therefore, it could be simple enough for Celtic to launch an offer and take Eliasson now.
The Sweden under-21 international has already touched on the interest in him from other clubs too, admitting that he was “flattered” (footballskanalen).
There is the opportunity to wait until January considering Eliasson looks unlikely to sign on any time soon. But Celtic can’t afford to wait until then to bring in some back-up for James Forrest.
Eliasson can also play down both flanks, which would be good versatility for Neil Lennon if he believes this one is worth a punt. With over 200 career appearances to his name both in Sweden and England, he would also arrive with some decent pedigree.
His contact talks with Bristol have also been rumbling on now for at least the entirity of 2020. Former Bristol manager Lee Johnson initially said back in January that talks had been had with the player regarding a new deal (Bristol Post).
The longer interested parties allow this to rumble on, the riskier it may become. So if Celtic have their eyes set on doing a deal for Eliasson, it would be preferable if a move was made before the transfer widnow closed on October 5th.