Kilmarnock defender Stephen O’Donnell’s future will be decided at the end of the season.
The Killie right-back has stalled on a new contract as speculation over where he’ll go next ramps up. He’s out-of-contract with the Ayrshire club at the end of the campaign, but Kilmarnock want to keep him at Rugby Park.
Celtic were linked with O’Donnell as recently as the summer (Scottish Sun). However, the Hoops ended up not moving for him. Instead, Hatem Abd Elhamed, Moritz Bauer, and Jeremie Frimpong were all respectively signed.
But that speculation could be set to start up again. O’Donnell, speaking to the BBC, has touched on when he’ll decide his next move.
“There’s been no progress. My wife is pregnant and I’m focused on that, along with the football.
“Come the end of the season will be when I’ll decide probably what I’ll do. I’m fortunate enough that Kilmarnock have offered me a contract but just now I’m not quite sure what I’m going to do.
“Just now I’m happy with my situation, I won’t be the first or last person to be coming into the last six months of my contract. I’ve enjoyed my time at Kilmarnock and I’ll keep trying to play my best.”
O’Donnell shouldn’t be on Celtic’s radar anymore
Interestingly, the Kilmarnock full-back also stated that nobody came in for him over the summer. That pretty much confirms that there was no approach from Celtic despite the speculation.
And, if he was even considered by the Hoops, this isn’t a deal we should go ahead with. We now have three top right-backs who are slugging it out and being rotated regularly.
You could point to Bauer heading back to Stoke City at the end of the season as a reason to bring O’Donnell in. However, by then, Frimpong you would hope will have solidified himself as a main rival for Elhamed. We wouldn’t really need a third signing for the same position.
The temptation is always there given he’ll be out of contract. If Celtic wanted to, they could sign him up on a pre-contract from January onwards. But there’s also the question of whether he’s good enough.
So far in his career, O’Donnell has been capped 10 times by Scotland. And if we’re all being serious, he’s struggled to impress in the majority of them. If he can’t hack it with the national team, he could struggle to make a serious impact at Parkhead.
This is a move Celtic should no longer be looking at. And there’s an argument to say that this is a deal we should never have been looking at.