Ofir Marciano, monitored by Celtic, refuses new Hibs deal

By Euan Davidson

March 12, 2021

Hibs goalkeeper Ofir Marciano, monitored by Celtic [Edinburgh Evening News], has refused a new deal.

Hibees boss Jack Ross confirmed that the Israeli goalkeeper had turned down an extension at Easter Road. Marciano, who has 12 Premiership clean sheets this season [Transfermarkt] has previously been tipped as a future Celtic goalie.

An Israel international, Marciano is reportedly good friends with Celtic man Nir Bitton. According to Edinburgh Evening News, the two are close, with the Hibs stopper settled in Scotland with his wife.

Jack Ross said [Daily Record]:

“Ofir won’t accept the deal. He’s been open about that with me. We offered him the best we could within our structure.

“He’s in his 30s now and he feels like his future lies elsewhere.

“He has enjoyed a successful period here and is determined to finish on a high as well and the best way of doing that would be securing that third position.

“[Ofir] is ambitious and backs himself in terms of ability. He has international caps as well.

“With Ofir’s background and experience I’m sure the opportunities will be from further afield than just the UK.”

Marciano gets low / (Photo by MICHAL CIZEK/AFP via Getty Images)

Celtic would do well to take advantage of Ofir Marciano contract situation

Celtic have struggled for a reliable number 1 goalkeeper in 20-21. Vasilis Barkas came with a reputation as a Greek international but has endured a torrid spell in Glasgow.

Meanwhile, Conor Hazard has been used sparingly, with Scott Bain often preferred to start matches this season. Bain undoubtedly isn’t of the required standard to be Celtic’s number 1 for the long-term.

Marciano hasn’t just proven his worth in domestic football. Scotland fans know all about his qualities, having impressed more than once against Steve Clarke’s national side [BBC].

Certainly, he isn’t the glamorous signing that many Celtic fans will want. Still, off the back of an impressive season with Hibs, the Israel international would represent a low-risk option for the Bhoys. Along with Benjamin Siegrist, Celtic could choose to stay local in their hunt for a reliable goalkeeper.

Given everything that’s happened this season, the Bhoys really could do far worse.

READ MORE: Celtic also need to strengthen up front, this player could fit the bill.