Celtic look like they’re going to miss out on another summer target after it was reported that Strahinja Pavlovic was set to join Lazio.
The Partizan Belgrade defender had interested the Hoops earlier this summer with Neil Lennon actually travelling to a Europa League match in Wales to watch him play.
However that interest never seemed to amount to anything and Pavlovic now looks set to move to Italy.
Serbian outlet Telegraf report that Lazio have agreed a fee of around €5.5million (£5million) for the 18-year-old central-defender. They say Pavlovic will sign a five-year deal with the Serie A outfit but will return back on loan to Partizan for the remainder of this season.
Did Celtic move for Pavlovic?
It’s difficult to judge just how serious Celtic were about Pavlovic. We clearly admired him to some extent to have our own manager take a look at him in a competitive match.
However, the fact no news of a bid was ever reported suggests there was something not quite right about the move. The defender is clearly destined for some pretty great things and he had some big names chasing after him.
Celtic fans may not like to admit it but a move to Lazio is going to be more enticing for a young player like that. The Italians can offer guaranteed Europa League group stage football and a top quality league to perform in. Sadly we can offer neither right now.
The only thing Celtic perhaps had in their favour was the prospect of Champions League football and that evaporated after the Cluj debacle.
The fact Lazio were willing to loan him back to Partizan also probably had a big say in the deal going through. Celtic are very unlikely to have been able to do likewise had we been in that position. We simply don’t have the defenders at the club at present.
It’s one just to right off. Let’s just hope we’re not hearing Pavlovic’s name too often in the future.