Hajduk Split left-back David Colina has admitted he’s pleased he was being linked with a summer switch to Celtic.
The Croatian defender was reportedly subject of a €3million (£2.7m) bid from the Hoops in the summer (Index.hr). However, it was stated in the report that Hajduk were looking to secure double that for his services.
Celtic didn’t go for him in the end, and instead secured AC Milan left-back Diego Laxalt on loan. Laxalt’s stay is until the end of the season, with no agreement seemingly in place as of yet for him to stay beyond next summer.
Colina, meanwhile, stayed at Hajduk Split beyond the end of the international transfer window, and has answered a direct question about his link to Celtic. Here’s what he had to say when questioned by Dalmantinski Portal:
“Of course it’s really good when other clubs are looking at you. But my present future is with Hajduk and I am only concentrating on Hajduk. It’s nice in Split – a nice climate and a nice life.
“I am only satisfied with first place (in the league). It needs to be earned and fought for. Second place wouldn’t be bad either.”
Colina could still be on Celtic’s radar
Even though Laxalt was signed in the summer, there’s no guarantee he’ll be here for the long-term. As of now, the agreement is until the end of the season and nothing more, so Celtic would be wise to have alternative targets on their list once the 10 is secured.
Colina could still fall into that bracket. Another year with Split was always going to be the best decision for the Croatia under-21 international. With such minimal first-team experience to his name (he’s only played 31 times at senior level in his career), he needs regular minutes.
Unfortunately, however, he won’t be experiencing a European campaign this season. Colina has never played in Europe beyond the qualifying rounds, where Hajduk were knocked out by Galatasaray in the Europa League third qualifier. So it’s clear he still has plenty to experience before he could be considered our own first-choice full-back.
He’s also still to play regularly for the Croatia under-21s too. Given his lack of football on a weekly basis, Colina has only played one of his nation’s last six matches (Transfermarkt).
It’s difficult to see why Celtic would go beyond £2.7m for his services given his lack of experience of course. It seems evident that Split are basing his value on potential alone, but the Hoops will likely want a more rounded and proven talent when it comes to filling that left-back berth permanently.
If it doesn’t prove to be Laxalt, Colina will need to have a big season of development before his record will be enough to persuade the Celtic supporters that he’s the man to do it.