Celtic’s reported interest in Brandon Soppy was intriguing for several reasons.
French Eurosport journalist Manu Lonjon reported on Twitter that Celtic were “interested” in the Rennes right-back. However, RB Leipzig were also ready to “accelerate strongly”.
Soppy played the second half against Celtic in July’s 0-0 friendly match at Parkhead. Yet he didn’t play in any of Celtic’s official matches against Rennes in the Europa League this season.
Soppy, who’s only 18 and looks like one for the future, hasn’t played a single game for the Rennes first-team this term either. However, his signing would add to an already packed right-back position.
At the moment, Celtic have Hatem Elhamed, Jeremie Frimpong, and Moritz Bauer on the books. Come the summer, Bauer will be replaced by Lee O’Connor – yet Soppy’s signing should lead to both of those men departing the club in some form.
Bauer likely won’t be back. He’s done well enough when he’s played this season, but he hasn’t been as good as we would’ve hoped. With only 13 appearances to his name this season, he likely wouldn’t even have come if his game-time was going to be so limited (Transfermarkt).
Bauer and O’Connor out?
Considering the Austrian is only on loan from Stoke, the signing of Soppy would surely end his Celtic career permanently if that wasn’t already in the pipeline.
O’Connor, meanwhile, remains one for the future too. He was signed from Manchester United’s academy last summer, and has spent the second half of the season on loan at Partick Thistle.
However, the young Irishman hasn’t gotten anywhere near the experience he would’ve hoped at Firhill. He only made four appearances before being dropped for the games against Dundee United and Dunfermline respectively (Transfermarkt).
Celtic clearly wanted him to head out and get consistent game-time. The shutdown of Scottish football has meant that it hasn’t happened.
Therefore, should we sign Soppy, O’Connor will surely be out the door on another temporary deal in the summer. With Soppy potentially only just arriving in Scotland, he wouldn’t be sent out so soon. Celtic would want to protect him.
That would leave the Hoops with Elhamed, Frimpong, and Soppy to compete at right-back. Bauer would be back at Stoke, whilst O’Connor could continue his search for first-team games.
There’s still a long way to go before Celtic wrap any deal for the Rennes youngster up. But if they do, expect two of his potential right-back rivals to head out.