St Mirren Chief Executive Tony Fitzpatrick believes that Celtic will be interested in his goalkeeper Vaclav Hladky.
The Czech Republic shot-stopper sprung himself into fame last Sunday in the Scottish Premiership playoff final. Hladky didn’t let any of Dundee United’s four penalty shootout strikes go past him. He would be the hero of Paisley come full-time, with Saints keeping their spot in the division for next season.
It’s not just been in that game he’s impressed either, however. St Mirren’s eight-game unbeaten run to end the season has almost revolved around Hladky. He hasn’t let more than one goal go past him in seven of their last eight matches.
Saints only secured the goalkeeper in January. But, despite that, Chief Executive Fitzpatrick believes the likes of Celtic and Rangers would be highly interested in his number one. Speaking in the Sun, this is what he had to say.
“There are teams from Russia and other countries already interested in signing Vaclav and I’m not surprised because he’s top quality. He’s capable of playing at a level much higher than the Premiership.
“I would think Celtic and Rangers must be looking at him and thinking he could do a job for them.
“He’s a big-game player and such a find for us. He’s been tremendous ever since he came in. You would be looking for at least six figures. Definitely.”
Third-choice goalkeeper could be an option
Celtic could easily be in the market for a new goalkeeper this summer. Dorus de Vries’ inevitable departure leaves a spot open for a number three, but the Hoops also have options such as Ross Doohan and Ryan Mullen in the youths who could potentially be given that role. De Vries’ contract runs out this summer (Daily Record), and that leaves a gap to be filled.
Hladky wouldn’t come in and be Celtic number one. Despite his good form for Saints, he’s only been in the country for four months now. He’s impressed, but not enough to warrant being a key part of Celtic’s squad.
Saints’ six-figure bid shouldn’t be a problem, of course. Hladky has just a year left on his contract in Paisley too, so he could likely be nabbed for a small six-figures.
In any case, there has been nothing from Parkhead to suggest this is a potential target or that it’s something Celtic are considering. It could just be Fitzpatrick is trying to drum up interest in his goalkeeper whilst his stock is high.
But if Celtic were to go for a goalkeeper this summer, you would like it to be one with a bit more pedigree to his name.