AS Monaco have announced that they’ve agreed the signing of Strahinja Pavlovic – the Partizan Belgrade defender who was linked with Celtic in the summer.
Pavlovic even came out and stated that he was “flattered” to have been linked with the Hoops, and that he was pleased to hear that Lennon had been watching him (Daily Record).
Interestingly, the deal with Monaco will see Pavlovic go back to Partizan until the end of the season. Monaco haven’t announced the figures involved in the agreement. However, it has been reported that the deal has cost them €10m with a further €3m in bonuses (GetFootballNewsFrance).
Pavlovic has made 30 appearances for Partizan this season, and has also played for Serbia at under-21 level (Transfermarkt). But now it’s clear that he definitely won’t be progressing his career at Celtic anytime soon.
A centre-back must still be a priority
It’s a tad frustrating to see Pavlovic signed up. However, if the idea of a €13m total is true, then you couldn’t have seen us going back in for him anyway.
Yet what is most certainly necessary is our continued search for a centre-back. There simply isn’t enough cover outside of our starting duo of Christopher Jullien and Kristoffer Ajer.
Nir Bitton and Jozo Simunovic are our only two alternatives. Whilst Bitton is a reliable figure, Jozo has proven himself to be too injury prone. Outside of that, we have Jack Hendry who simply shouldn’t be anywhere near the team at the moment.
So this is a position that needs strengthening, and Lennon must look outside of Scotland to do it too. The likes of a Scott McKenna, for example, simply won’t cut it. Celtic need to seriously invest in the position and make sure we have quality in reserve.
Lennon admitted at the start of the week that there would be a meeting on Tuesday to discuss potential transfer options and how to move forward (The Scotsman). The manager didn’t go into any specifics about certain players or areas.
So it’ll be interesting to see how we tackle this in January. At least we know for certain it won’t be Pavlovic.