2020 Celtic target Omar Colley is up for grabs this summer, according to Tutto Mercato Web.

The report claims that the powerful Gambian, who signed a new contract back in January, will be made available for transfer by Claudio Ranieri.

He’s been scouted by Southampton [Rai Sport], Liverpool and other big names, with fees of as much as €15m being banded around. Celtic were supposedly keen last summer [Sky Sports], with the Sampdoria man being valued at £10m by his club. Now, it seems Leeds United are in the driver’s seat, but there’s still an open door for the Bhoys.

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According to Tutto Mercato Web, despite signing a new deal in January, the 6’3″ centre-back is looking to move on. Normally, that would alarm prospective buyers from a loyalty point of view. However the 28-year-old has been a regular for Sampdoria and is continuing to impress.

To add further intrigue, Colley has obtained a work permit, according to the same source. Given Celtic’s defensive frailties this season, a commanding, physical defender who wins nearly three aerial duels per 90 [WhoScored?] sounds like a good deal.

Leeds United have been reportedly interested for some time [Football Italia]. The club, who are owned by Andrea Radrizzani, have been named by TMW as the most likely suitors for Colley. It’s a very odd set of circumstances, granted, but the defender is available.

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Celtic can offer the prospect of trophies and European football, while Leeds can probably offer more money. There could be a fascinating tug-of-war ahead of us – if we’re interested of course.

Omar Colley

Omar Colley of Sampdoria, battling in the air / (Photo by Massimiliano Ferraro/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

What would Omar Colley bring to Celtic?

If you like your defenders to be “no-nonsense”, then Colley fits the bill. A towering presence, Colley’s strengths are in the air. Also, this season, he’s been able to make 2.4 interceptions and 4.6 clearances per 90 [WhoScored?]. That compares favourably to Kristoffer Ajer, who admittedly has less work to do, with 1.4 and 3.4 respectively.

Not the greatest passer in the world, Colley likes to hit it long and is a less accurate distributor than what Celtic currently have at their disposal. At 28, he’s unlikely to be able to radically change his game in that regard. If Ajer leaves, he’s not the ball-playing technical centre-back that would represent a straight replacement for the Norwegian.

With Sampdoria potentially wanting the thick end of £10m (if last year is anything to go by), it seems a difficult one to pull off, from a Celtic perspective. If his history is anything to go by, he’ll be able to help us a lot in problem areas. Namely, defending set-pieces, and dealing with aerial threats. That’s Colley’s main area.

Given the lack of resale value on offer, and the less than stellar defensive exploits of Sampdoria as a whole, Celtic really could do better. However, he’s clearly available and desperate for a move.

Whether that’s an attitude that’s becoming to whoever’s in charge of recruitment at Celtic is unknown.

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