Report: Celtic eyeing up deal for Stoke City's Josef Bursik

By David Walton

December 18, 2019

Celtic are reportedly keen on doing a deal for Stoke City goalkeeper Josef Bursik.

Football Insider report that a Celtic source has told them that the club is “very keen” to fend off several rivals for the England under-20 international’s signature.

The report also claims that there is interest from the Premier League in the youngster, who’s out of contract at the end of the season and could be available for a bargain fee.

Josef Bursik is on loan at Accrington Stanley (Andrew Kearns – CameraSport via Getty Images)

Bursik actually isn’t currently with Stoke at the moment. He was sent on a season-long loan to League One outfit Accrington Stanley, where he’s only managed to appear on three occasions (Transfermarkt). His last outing came at the weekend during Accrington’s 4-1 win over Portsmouth.

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Bursik has also yet to make an appearance for Stoke. He was on loan at AFC Telford last season, and has also managed to keep three clean sheets in four appearances with England’s under-20s (Transfermarkt).

Goalkeeping links come as no surprise

You can’t say it’s surprising to see Celtic linked with goalkeepers at this point in the season. Just last week, Craig Gordon admitted that January is going to be a big month for him (BBC). It’s a strong hint that he could look to leave the club when the window opens.

Craig Gordon could be off in January (Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Fraser Forster, meanwhile, is only currently contracted to the club on loan until the end of the season. Unless Celtic find the cash, he’s another who may not be back.

Yet, at the same time, Bursik doesn’t have the kind of CV that will see him waltz into Parkhead and stake a claim for the number one jersey. You don’t go from Accrington Stanley’s second choice to Celtic’s second choice. It reads like a potential signing that could see him drop down to the development squad, should we snap him up.

What about the three youngsters still at the club?

It would also open up a debate on what it would mean for the likes of Ross Doohan, Conor Hazard, and Ryan Mullen respectively. Celtic still have those three youngsters contracted to the club, with all three looking as though they have potential.

Conor Hazard is one of three promising youngsters already at the club (David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

If we go for a shot-stopper in the near future, the main priority has to be one for the senior side. Gordon’s departure couldn’t feel more inevitable, and even though he’s struggled for game-time this season, he remains a top-quality goalkeeper. He’ll need to be replaced appropriately if he does go.

Bursik doesn’t appear to have the profile of someone who would fill that role. However, that doesn’t mean it’s a non-starter. If Celtic feel there’s potential there then it’s obviously worth looking into, but don’t be surprised if Bursik isn’t the only goalkeeper we end up nabbing either in January or the summer.