Report: Permanent Celtic deal for Diego Laxalt could hinge on Lennon's future

By Euan Davidson

January 5, 2021

Italian outlet Il Milanista is suggesting that Celtic are keen on a permanent move for Diego Laxalt

The Uruguayan international, on loan from A.C. Milan, has impressed so far in Celtic colours. Making his debut in the season’s first Glasgow Derby, Laxalt has made 18 appearances in total for the Bhoys (Transfermarkt).

Taking the place of Greg Taylor, the Uruguayan has featured either on the left of a 3-5-2 or a diamond 4-4-2, and his tactical flexibility is valuable to Neil Lennon. However, Il Milanista is reporting that the Celtic manager’s job security is hampering any long-term deal.

The Rossoneri are likely to be looking for around €8m to make the deal permanent.

In follow-up reporting from English-language Milan fan site Sempre Milan, it was reported that Laxalt’s future is very much up in the air:

“The Bhoys do not have an option or obligation to buy Laxalt built into the deal, so they must consider whether to make an attempt sign him outright for next season.

“First though they must work out their own coaching situation, as Lennon has his contract expiring in June and there is a chance he will not be there next season.

“Milan will ask for around €8m to sell Laxalt, but everything for now is on hold until Celtic’s direction is decided, and a return to Milanello cannot be excluded.”

Left-back Diego Laxalt in action for Celtic / (Photo by Sylvain Lefevre/Getty Images)

Diego Laxalt: a quality option for Celtic

Laxalt represents a real upgrade for Celtic in the left-back position.

A player who can bomb up and down the flank, his defensive position is largely decent. Additionally, he brings a great deal of experience to the role.

Even at 27, he’s been an established Uruguay international for almost half a decade. While he’s not seen much game time for A.C. Milan, he has made plenty of appearances in Serie A with Genoa and Torino.

A wing-back who enjoys possession, Laxalt’s crossing can be wayward. However, his overall range of passing is a real boost to Celtic’s attacking game.

Keen to overlap, he has combined well with Callum McGregor and Moi Elyounoussi on the left of the park for the Bhoys.

However, Neil Lennon’s future is uncertain. It makes sense for both player and selling club to know who it is they’ll be dealing with.

Across the squad, vast improvements need to be made. Additionally, any player sales will most likely be used to offset losses from Covid-19.

With that in mind, and the considerable fee involved for Laxalt, it seems unlikely that the Uruguayan will be staying long-term.

So, it seems unlikely that the ex-Genoa man will stay at Celtic beyond 2021. Stranger things have happened, though.