Murdo MacLeod believes as many as 11 players could be shown the exit door at Parkhead this summer.
MacLeod has watched on as Celtic have stumbled from disaster to disaster in our pursuit of 10-in-a-row. This came after a dreadful couple of transfer windows in which the club failed to strengthen the team efficiently.
A host of players now look set to leave this summer as part of the Parkhead rebuild. Players are entering the final years of their contracts whilst others are getting set to head back to their loan clubs.
And as he took a look at who should be sent packing, MacLeod believes as many as 11 should be heading this summer.
As quoted by the Scottish Sun, Murdo said: “I look at the number of players who won’t be there next season and it’s a worry. The captain and leader, Scott Brown, will be at Aberdeen. I don’t think the club will trigger their option to hand Leigh Griffiths another year after the season he’s just had.
“Kristoffer Ajer, Odsonne Edouard and Ryan Christie are coming to the end of their contracts and look as though they want to move on. The loan signings will all go back to their parent clubs and last season’s signings — apart from David Turnbull — should be sold as well. Most of them didn’t play too often anyway, so they’ll want to leave.
“Unfortunately, they won’t be able to sell every player who had a bad season and some of them will hang around. But the new manager will have three or four individuals to build his team around — Turnbull, Callum McGregor and James Forrest among them. He won’t inherit much more than that.”
Murdo MacLeod not wrong as scale of Celtic rebuild is outlined
You can’t really argue with anything MacLeod says here. Brown is already away whilst Celtic have been in no rush to tie down Leigh Griffiths.
We have three players into the final years of their contract as mentioned above, and they’ll likely all be sold. Not to mention Diego Laxalt, Jonjoe Kenny, Mohamed Elyounoussi, and Shane Duffy will go back to their parent clubs. As for last season’s summer signings? Albian Ajeti and Vasilis Barkas will be tough to sell, but any substantial offers would surely be listened to.
The truth is that not many at Celtic have warranted staying on for next season. David Turnbull, Callum McGregor, Ismaila Soro, James Forrest, and perhaps Chris Jullien can all stake a claim. Outside of that? You wouldn’t keep too many.
But getting rid is the easy bit, it’s replacing them that will be tough. Not because they’ve all been wonderful servants to the football club, but because of how lacking in numbers we’ll be.
That’s why it’s going to be an extremely busy and particularly difficult summer. Not every signing that comes into the club will be the right one – that’s just the nature of transfer windows. However, that only goes to magnify the job currently at hand.
We’ll see what the summer brings, but the sooner we get cracking the better.