Hatayspor manager expects reported Celtic target Aaron Boupendza to leave

By David Walton

June 14, 2021

Hatayspor manager Omer Erdogan expected reported Celtic target Aaron Boupendza to leave this summer.

Boupendza had the best season of his career after moving to Turkey last summer. The Gabon international bagged 22 goals in 38 games – a stat that led to him ending the campaign as the top scorer in the country [Transfermarkt].

The powerful front-man, who has a wand of a left-foot, was first linked with Celtic back in March. 90Min reported that he was on the radar of Celtic and a host of English Premier League clubs. Only last month, Turkish media claimed the Hoops had offered as much as £5.6m for the centre-forward [Milliyet].

This appeared not to be the case however when senior club figure Lutfu Savas didn’t mention Celtic as one of the interested parties [Milliyet]. Now, club boss Erdogan has admitted he expects his top striker to leave this season and chase his own ambitions.

In an interview with Transfermarkt, he said: “We assume that Boupendza will leave us [this summer]. With the sums that are presented, it is very important for the club. 

“As a coach, I would like us to keep working with him. But he also has other goals and is at an age and physical condition at which he can join good clubs from Europe. I understand that too.”

Hatayspor striker Aaron Boupendza stuck in a transfer saga

Boupendza has been linked with a host of clubs in the months leading up to the summer. So much so that his link to Celtic now feels almost irrelevant.

It’s telling that Celtic haven’t been quick to make a move either. Given that Savas only mentioned clubs from Spain, Italy, and England as being interested, that tells its own story.

But it’s also no surprise when you see his valuation either. 90Min reported that Hatayspor want as much as £8.5m for their star-man. They’re entitled to drum up that figure considering the level and number of clubs seemingly interested. However, form a Celtic perspective? It feels too much to move forward with.

Aaron Boupendza / (Photo by Hilmi Tunahan Karakaya/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

We’re already said to be closing in on a move for 30-goal Charlie Wyke from Sunderland [Northern Echo]. Until Odsonne Edouard is out the door, you can’t see Celtic splashing this level of cash.

Whilst it would be welcomed by the support, we have to realise how much we have to stretch our transfer budget out this summer. A striker is essential. Two would be ideal. But spending over £8m on one particular player would eat too much into it. It could lead to us buying lesser quality in other areas of the pitch.

Celtic don’t appear to be getting any closer towards a move for Boupendza, and there’s a reason for that. Even with Hatayspor clearly looking to sell him on, the Hoops don’t appear to be too enticed any longer – if they ever were.

In other news, read our story on Charlie Wyke here.