Celtic could reportedly secure Red Star defender Srdjan Babic for £1million

By David Walton

June 4, 2019

As the transfer window prepares to open on June 11th, a deal Celtic could perhaps fancy is a move for Srdjan Babic.

Babic is an under-21 international centre-back for Serbia, and currently plays with Red Star Belgrade. And, despite his contract apparently running until 2021, a report from Serbian publication Zurnal stated that offers won’t go over £1m for the defender.

What makes his price so potentially cheap is a bit of a mind-boggler. But Celtic have previously been linked with a move for Babic, along with clubs such as Besiktas, Nice, Monaco, and Feyenoord respectively (Hurriyet).

Srdjan Babic (right) would apparently be available for a small fee (Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images)

Babic has made 132 appearances for Red Star, and has won two titles back in his homeland. Both came after a two-year spell with Real Sociedad where he failed to make one first-team appearance.

Other past achievements from Babic include the likes of winning the FIFA Under-20 World Cup with Serbia, and also the Serbian Cup with Vojvodina.

A cheap, easy replacement for Boyata?

Babic certainly seems to fit the bill. He’s no-nonsense, something Neil Lennon loves in defenders. It remains to be seen if Lennon continues the Brendan Rodgers way of playing it out from the back. Whether Babic would suit it also has to be taken into consideration.

Babic (left) is a highly-rated talent (Josef Bollwein/SEPA.Media /Getty Images)

There’s no denying we need centre-back cover. As it stands, only Jack Hendry and Marvin Compper are available as back-up. Signings simply must be made in the summer, and Babic reads well.

At just 23-years of age, he has plenty of potential. It would also represent shopping in the same market players such as Filip Benkovic and Jozo Simunovic came from. There are some hidden gems in Eastern Europe, and Babic could certainly be one of them.

The fact he can reportedly be signed for such a low fee could bring out the vultures. But there’s no point looking a gift horse in the mouth, and Celtic wouldn’t go wrong in trying to nab the centre-back from Belgrade. This looks like a bargain at face-value.

Babic has gotten his career back on track at Red Star (Srdjan Stevanovic/Getty Images)

Babic made the starting XI for Red Star on 29 occasions this season. Even though he was in and out of the team, the centre-back featured in the Champions League regularly during the group stages. He remains one of their first-choice defenders, and has decent pedigree.

There’s a big prospect there if Celtic decide to go for him. And by the sound of things, the Hoops could get him cheaply too.