George Baldock to Celtic apparently can’t be ruled out just yet, with Celtic reportedly “eyeing” him up once again.
According to the Scottish Sun, Celtic face competition from Stoke for the full-back. He’s also apparently rated at £1.5million, which is certainly a cheaper alternative to Huddersfield Town’s Tommy Smith.
Baldock is set to feature in the Premier League for Sheffield United this season. But, in any case, it hasn’t stopped the speculation linking him with a move to Glasgow. Celtic were interested in Baldock earlier this summer, but Sheffield were apparently looking to keep him (Sky Sports).
Nothing is reported to have changed in that regard. That’s what makes this story a bit of a surprise, especially considering Celtic reportedly have representatives in Austria looking to tie up Smith (Daily Mirror, Henry Armstrong).
But it’s also worth remembering that Celtic need two right-backs in before the transfer window ends. With three right-back departures at the end of last season, cover is essential. As of yet, however, the Sun have only stated that Celtic are interested in Baldock. No bid appears to have been launched as of yet.
George Baldock to Celtic would remain a surprise
It’s difficult to make a case for us being back in for Baldock. Yes, he’s the kind of signing we could do with having at right-back. He’s been a consistent performer for Sheffield over the last two years, and made 27 appearances in their promotion campaign last year.
You would have to seriously question whether he would want a move here, however. After all, he’s never played Premier League football at all throughout his career. Baldock has spent his 10 years in professional football battling to get up the English lower leagues.
He now has that chance with Sheffield this season. And given there’s no real urgency to lose him from the Blades’ perspective, he could be difficult to lure at this stage.
Of course, Celtic can offer him something he may never get the chance to achieve – European football. But even at that, a deal for Baldock doesn’t look as far down the line as one for Smith does.
Don’t be surprised if nothing comes of this. It would be nice to bring in two right-backs the standard of Smith and Baldock. But it’s difficult to see one arriving and being satisfied with playing second-fiddle.
It still looks like being a case of either/or. So long as one of them gets done before the second Champions League qualifier at least, many Celtic fans will still be happy.