Report: Celtic monitoring Ofir Marciano; player ready for "next step"

By David Walton

March 8, 2021

Celtic are monitoring Hibernian goalkeeper Ofir Marciano, according to the Edinburgh Evening News.

The Israel international, who has 23 caps to his name, is out of contract at the end of the season.

Celtic have failed to provide their starting XI with a settled number one this season. Former boss Neil Lennon rotated between Vasilis Barkas, Scott Bain, and Conor Hazard respectively. It looks almost certain that a new goalkeeper will arrive in the summer to provide some solid competition.

The Edinburgh Evening News reports that Marciano is one of the options Celtic are looking at. They state that the player is a close friend of Nir Bitton and that the pair often spend time together with their families away from the pitch.

And it appears Marciano himself is ready to move on. Speaking to Israeli outlet Ynet, the stopper said: “Once we get to summer I will think further. I am happy in Europe and feel that the next step can be taken. For me, the most important thing is to play good for the club. Without that, I won’t get any opportunity, not here or at another place. I know my value.

“It’s a big statement, but I think I can play in the Premier League. My abilities are known in Britain; I’ve had five very good years in Scotland.”

Celtic can easily find a reliable back-up in Scotland; Ofir Marciano being one

It would be no surprise if Marciano was indeed on a list of candidates that Celtic are looking at to provide reasonable back-up. We certainly need a lot more solidity in goal than we’ve had throughout the 2020/21 campaign.

And the Israeli is a name worth looking into. Throughout his time with Hibs, he’s conceded 152 goals in 145 appearances, with 55 clean sheets to his name. This season alone, he’s managed 13 clean sheets in 29 appearances. A further eight of those matches have only seen one goal fly past him.

It’s a fine record and a real key reason as to why Hibs are third in the Premiership as things stand. Without Marciano, goodness knows where Jack Ross’ side would be considering their own leaky back-line.

Ofir Marciano in action for Israel (Photo by JACK GUEZ/AFP via Getty Images)

Before the January window, Celtic had also been linked with a move for Dundee Utd goalkeeper Benjamin Siegrist. He produced a man-of-the-match display yesterday in a clean sheet against the Hoops too. Of course, Marciano has already impressed against us this season back in November’s 2-2 draw at Easter Road.

The fact is that Celtic can easily find considerable quality for their back-up options in Scotland. That’s what the likes of Marciano and Siegrist represent.

Whether Celtic decide to make a move for either remains to be seen ahead of a summer of sweeping changes.

In other news, Olivier Ntcham has hit a new low in France.