Celtic target Andraz Sporar set for Sporting Lisbon medical

By Hamish Carton

January 15, 2020

January Celtic target Andraz Sporar doesn’t look like joining the club this month, as he closed in on a move to Sporting Lisbon – according to a report in Portugal.

Just last month, Hoops boss Neil Lennon admitted an interest in Sporar saying he was “one of a number of options” and confirming that “talks” had gone on over a possible transfer. (BBC)

But it doesn’t seem like that interest has amounted to anything as Portuguese outlet Abola posted an update on the Slovenia international’s situation on Wednesday afternoon.

Andraz Sporar against Wolves (Photo by LINDSEY PARNABY/AFP via Getty Images)

An update that doesn’t make pretty reading from a Hoops point of view.

They say that talks between Sporting and Slovan Bratislava are now at the “details phase” with Sporar set to travel to Lisbon later this week for “medical examinations.” They also reckon that the forward will sign a four-and-a-half year deal with the Primeira Liga side for a fee “close to” €7million.

Estádio José Alvalade (Photo by Gualter Fatia/Getty Images)

If Sporar chose Lisbon there’s little we could have done

Celtic clearly held some sort of interest in the forward at some point over the past six weeks. That much is abundantly clear.

The fact we held talks with Slovan Bratislava in Austria suggests we were really keen to bring him aboard, although something must have happened.

The reported price of €7million (around £6million) could have been a stumbling block although that seems a little unlikely given that we’ve shelled out even bigger fees on the likes of Christopher Jullien and Odsonne Edouard in the last 18 months.

Celtic defender Christopher Jullien (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

More likely is that Sporar fancied a move to Lisbon rather than Glasgow. Such a decision would be slightly surprising, although there’s little doubting that the Portuguese league is of a higher standard to Scotland.

There’s little we can do if players don’t want to come and play for us. To the club’s credit we got over the disappointment pretty quickly and moved for Klimala, which is a sign that the recruitment department is starting to work again.

Sporting Lisbon are still in this season’s Europa League and face a winnable last 32 tie against Turkish side Basaksehir in February.

That means that fate could see Sporar at Celtic Park very soon, just for another team who wear green and white hoops.