Italian report states Celtic still want Diego Laxalt permanently; feels unlikely

By David Walton

February 15, 2021

Popular AC Milan news site Milan Live believes that Celtic still want to secure the signing of Diego Laxalt on a permanent basis.

Laxalt started well after arriving from the Serie A club on loan back in October. Despite Celtic’s poor form in the final quarter of 2020, the Uruguayan stood out in games against the likes of Rangers, Milan, and Lille respectively.

This led to plenty of speculation over whether Laxalt could join permanently in the summer. Especially considering the Rossoneri had been linked so frequently with Hoops centre-back Kris Ajer last year. Milan News journalist Antonio Vitiello claimed that a swap deal could’ve been on the cards.

Since then, however, Laxalt has dropped out of the Celtic starting XI for Greg Taylor. He hasn’t started any of the club’s last seven league matches with his performances dipping in his most recent outings [Transfermarkt].

Yet Milan Live still believes Celtic want to take him permanently this summer. They state, however, that no fee between the clubs has been agreed.

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Celtic have bigger concerns than a decision on Diego Laxalt

It may very well be the case that Neil Lennon wants Laxalt next season. But there is bigger fish to fry at the moment, with Lennon himself having major problems regarding his own long-term future.

We would all hope a new manager is appointed at some stage in the summer. Therefore, even if Lennon wants Laxalt back, any new boss would have his own ideas. You can’t imagine Diego being the first-choice option for a manager with the pedigree of one we would hope to bring in.

Fans don’t want to entertain this, but even if Lennon stays, it’s no guarantee he’s coming back. His lack of appearances in recent weeks suggests that Lennon is focusing more on players contracted here for next season. There isn’t a lot between both him and Taylor.

Greg Taylor in action for Celtic / (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

He’s getting a bit of the Benkovic treatment at the moment too, which is ominous. Towards Filip’s final days at the club back in the 2018/19 season, he only started two of the final 11 games of the campaign under Lennon. This appeared to be because he was scheduled to head back in the summer and wasn’t much better than what we had in any case.

You get that same feeling with Laxalt. Again, that doesn’t mean that he can’t be back next season, but it feels extremely optimistic. Lennon clearly doesn’t feel confident in re-signing him given his lack of playing time these days.

In any case, the future of the manager is the main focus heading into the summer. Laxalt isn’t the only one who likely won’t be returning for pre-season.

In other news, one of Lennon’s former allies has come out and urged Celtic to appoint a new manager for next season.