French centre-back Celtic reportedly scouted in 2019 is now available for free

By David Walton

May 18, 2021

Nathan Gassama, the French centre-back Celtic reportedly scouted in 2019, is now available this summer for absolutely nothing.

Before the Hoops signed Christopher Jullien after Neil Lennon was appointed the permanent manager of the club, Gassama was speculated as being a potential option. Goal France reported that Celtic had been to watch the Nantes youngster, then 18-years of age. Chelsea and Southampton were also linked with a reported move. Watford were said to have already been in touch.

But after Jullien signed on, the Hoops clearly moved on if there was any interest. Celtic would go on to win nine-in-a-row whilst Gassama stayed with Nantes to try and break into their first-team squad.

Two years on, things haven’t gone well for him. He only has a handful of appearances with Nantes B in France’s fourth-tier to his name. Yet despite that, he’s still well regarded back in his homeland.

RMC Sport journalist Loic Tanzi believes Ligue 1 side Lorient and Ligue 2 promotion chasers Troyes are interested. This comes after he completed a trial with the latter.

An exciting seven days for Celtic fans is about to get underway

French centre-back Nathan Gassama would fall under the category of  “project signing”

Gassama was said to be much-heralded back in 2019 in particular. Goal France labelled him as one of the “great promises” of French football. Nobody can argue his progress over the last two campaigns, however, hasn’t gone to plan.

We spoke on 67HailHail yesterday about the need to stop with project signings for now. How all eyes this summer should be on ensuring that any new signing is one that can come in and make an impact instantly.

It’s difficult to truly admit to whether Gassama could do that or not. Given his inexperience at senior level, it would be wrong to judge. But with the reported interest that remains in him, he clearly has something that’s keeping French clubs interested.

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

It would be interesting to see if Celtic go and take another look at Gassama. If he can be signed for nothing then there’s no risk involved in any deal. Even if it is a project signing, not splashing any cash on it means there would be no major concerns.

Celtic will never not be about finding diamonds in the rough, especially if they can be snapped up for nothing. Considering most of our top young talents have been leaving the club in recent years, it would be nice to add one or two more. So long as no major amount of money is spent on them.

There are no reports this year of Celtic being interested. However, given we reportedly had a look two years ago, it’s not out of the equation to suggest another peek could arise.

In other news, a Celtic-linked striker has ended the campaign as the top goalscorer in Turkey.