Celtic transfer round-up: Four linked but only two to join

By David Walton

January 17, 2019

As we kick into the final two weeks of the transfer window, here we have a round-up of what’s been going on in the world of Celtic.

The Hoops have really looked to kick on and solve some pressing issues so far. The additions of Vakoun Issouf Bayo and Timothy Weah have helped solve the striking crisis.

Timothy Weah’s arrival is big for the club (Thananuwat Srirasant/Getty Images for ICC)

Oliver Burke has also been added on a six-month loan deal to provide some competition for James Forrest and Scott Sinclair. But more work still needs to be done.

Mikael Lustig is into the closing stages of his career. His future as Celtic’s number one right-back won’t be the same for much longer. The Hoops are determined to upgrade on him this January, and look likely to do so.

The two unlikely to go to Parkhead

As we head into those final couple of weeks, plenty of names have been linked with a move to the club. But recently, four have stood out as the rumour mill starts to come into effect.

First off, here are two unlikely to make the big move.

Celtic are being linked with a move for Scott McTominay of Manchester United. Any deal here would have to be a loan one, but it’s not yet clear whether it would be six or 18 months.

Scott McTominay has reservations about a move to Celtic (Stu Forster/Getty Images)

The United midfielder has reservations about joining Celtic due to the heavy competition in midfield. That lack of appetite certainly wouldn’t be welcome, and any move for him would be a surprise.

Then there’s striker Josh Maja of Sunderland. He wants to leave when his contract is up at the end of the season. But he’s attracting interest from Bundesliga teams who are scouting him closely.

The forward would prefer a move to Germany and his agent has close ties there. This is therefore another move that’s unlikely to happen in this window. Even if Celtic get their man, they would have to wait until the end of the season.

So who’s on the agenda between now and the end of January?

Celtic have two main targets they want to wrap up between now and the end of the transfer window.

Firstly, the Lustig replacement is none other than Omar Elabdellaoui of Olympiakos.

Celtic were initially hoping to get him for £4million, but the Greeks want double that. Manager Pedro Martins has also confirmed that he doesn’t want any of his players leaving in this window.

Olympiakos want £8million for Omar Elabdellaoui (Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)

But Celtic are determined to get their man, and had a meeting yesterday on how to take this deal forward. Given he’s the only target to replace Lustig, you have to expect the club to get their man here. It’s a necessity they get this deal over the line.

Secondly, there’s James McCarthy of Everton.

The boyhood Celtic fan who the club once rejected back in 2009 under Tony Mowbray. Now, however, Rodgers wants him in on loan.

James McCarthy will never get a better chance to go to Celtic (Tony McArdle/Everton FC via Getty Images)

The Hoops could have as many as five different clubs as competition for the McCarthy deal. This includes the likes of West Ham, who could also be an attractive proposition for the Everton midfielder.

He’s yet to make a single appearance for the club this season, and he’ll never get a better chance to go to his boyhood heroes. Everton would also likely be glad to get him off the wage bill.

Celtic have yet to make a formal offer for McCarthy’s signature, but expect this to go through if they make their approach.