Celtic have been linked with a summer move for a defender, with the Scottish Sun reporting that both the Hoops and Rangers are considering a move for Gillingham centre-back Jack Tucker.
The player is rated at £1.5 million, and the report goes on to claim that the Hoops have been scouting the player since the start of 2020, and that Premier League duo West Ham and Aston Villa are also interested in the defender.
Some Celtic fans might be puzzled why the Hoops are considering a move for a defender. After all, Jozo Simunovic, Christopher Jullien and Kristoffer Ajer are all at the club.
However, the move for Tucker makes sense when you look at Simunovic’s future, which is currently up in the air.
Contract expires at end of season
The Hoops centre-back, a member of Celtic’s invincibles of 2016-17, revealed a few weeks ago that his contract expires at the end of the season.
“This is my last year. We’ve arranged a meeting to talk. We’ll discuss it for sure, but it’s a not a problem for me right now” he said, as quoted by the Scottish Sun.
The Hoops have an option to extend the deal for another year, but as yet the option has not been agreed. Therefore, there could be doubt about Simunovic’s long-term future at Celtic.
Manager would like player to stay
Neil Lennon has admitted that he would the player to stay at the club.
“I’d like to keep him, I think he is a top player” he said, as quoted by the Scottish Sun. However, there is nothing wrong with making a contingency plan should Simunovic decide to move on at the end of the season.
In fact, it is a sensible move that Celtic are making. Now, hopefully Simunovic decides to stay at Celtic, and he and the club agree to activate the one-year extension.
But whilst that has yet to happen, the club are well within their rights to look for other options, and scout potential signings for next season.
Should the player decide to leave the Hoops, and he might well do so, then the squad would need a new centre-back, and perhaps Tucker is a candidate.