Celtic still reportedly keen on West Brom's Rekeem Harper

By David Walton

July 2, 2019

Rekeem Harper to Celtic could still reportedly be a move that the Hoops are interested in.

A report from the Birmingham Mail a couple of days ago stated that Harper was edging closer to staying at the Hawthorns. This was apparently after talks with new boss Slaven Bilic. An offer is apparently on the table for Harper should he want to stay in England.

But that’s been met with a swift update on Celtic’s current pursuit of the midfielder too. Despite things going quiet on Harper over the last couple of weeks, the Daily Record’s Craig Swan believes Celtic remain interested.

Rekeem Harper is still on Celtic’s radar (Harry Trump/Getty Images)

Speaking on the Daily Record’s Celtic podcast, Swan provided a major update on where we stand with Harper at the moment.

“If you are Harper’s agent you are going to spend the rest of the window seeing what offers your player will receive. You often find it’s out of the buying club’s hands. There is definite interest in him and Neil Lennon went to see him but there was a general feeling that had David Turnbull signed, Harper would have been pushed down the pecking order.

“Now the Turnbull deal is off, Harper could come back on the radar. They can get him for £250k and he’s a good player. There’s a lot to like.”

Is Harper to Celtic affected by Bilic arrival?

This deal could easily have become more difficult now that Slaven Bilic is the new manager at the Hawthorns. After all, he’ll want to keep such a highly-rated youngster at the club. Without being able to run the rule over him, Bilic would likely be frustrated if he let Harper slip through his grasp.

Slaven Bilic’s arrival at West Brom has changed the dynamic of the deal (Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty Images)

But, as it stands, Harper is now effectively a free agent. According to Transfermarkt, his contract with West Brom ended at the close of June. Celtic could sign him immediately for a small development fee of £250k – similar to what they did with Luca Connell in truth.

Yet, you also have to wonder just how much of a priority is this for the Hoops. We’re in desperate need of a right-back at the moment, and that would surely be the priority from Neil Lennon.

The arrival of Connell has also added to the competition currently in the Parkhead engine room too. Youssouf Mulumbu has departed, but we still have an overwhelming number of central midfielders as it is.

Will the Harper deal become another saga? (Matthew Ashton – AMA/WBA FC via Getty Images)

This deal has a feeling of still being up in the air. Celtic haven’t been too forceful with it, and Harper himself remains content to wait it out as it stands.

A deal certainly doesn’t seem close, but it’s interesting to hear that the Hoops remain interested.