The four transfer moves Celtic must finalise before deadline
As the transfer window comes to a close in the coming days, there are four moves that Celtic should be doing their utmost to finalise.
Celtic fans are heading into the final week of the transfer window knowing plenty of work has already been done on the first-team squad. Even with a full week of the window remaining, only slight tweaks need to be made.
That doesn’t mean the work is yet over. Ange Postecoglou has already confirmed he wants one or two more in the door. As well as that, there are a couple of bodies that could do with being shifted before the August 31st deadline too.
But we know as a fanbase that it shouldn’t be an overly-chaotic week for the club. If things are done right, it’ll be a case of fine-tuning more than drastic changes that are made.
And with that, we take a look at the four deals that could do with being finalised before the window shuts:
There are two areas in which Celtic desperately need to strengthen before the transfer window closes.
The first is undoubtedly the left-back area. Greg Taylor has next to no competition for his position at the moment. Postecoglou clearly doesn’t trust Boli Bolingoli and is unwilling to put his faith in him. As for Adam Montgomery, he still has some development to go before he can stake a serious claim to the position.
That’s not even taking into account that we need an upgrade on Taylor regardless. The only name being mentioned so far is Republic of Ireland defender Liam Scales.
Scales is said to be Parkhead-bound after an agreement was reached with the Hoops for his services. And whilst there are question marks over the 23-year-old’s lack of experience outside of Ireland, he’s clearly ready for the step up.
There are also no other left-back alternatives seemingly on the agenda, meaning Scales is now a must-sign in order for some genuine competition for the gruelling season ahead.
And secondly? Georgios Giakoumakis is said to be interesting Celtic heading into the final week of the window [Daily Record].
Celtic simply aren’t getting enough out of Albian Ajeti and Leigh Griffiths. The latter’s Parkhead career also looks dead and buried at this rate.
You then have the prospect of Odsonne Edouard leaving in 12 months at the very latest. Bringing Giakoumakis in will give us some reliable firepower after he finished as the Eredivisie’s top scorer last season.
If we fail to secure him, then Celtic won’t have enough reliable faces up top outside of new signing Kyogo Furuhashi.
In terms of signings, don’t expect any more than these two. Scales and Giakoumakis would represent the final pieces of Postecoglou’s summer puzzle.
Celtic have already done well with their summer departures so far. They’ve managed to get the likes of Jack Hendry, Marian Shved, Patryk Klimala, and Olivier Ntcham off the wage bill.
But there’s still a couple of exits that could do with being completed before the transfer window shuts next week.
As mentioned before, Griffiths isn’t a reliable goalscorer anymore. He hasn’t scored more than 20 goals in a single season since the 2015/16 campaign. That was over five years ago, yet still it appears the Scotland international is living off of it.
Griffiths was given a one-year extension to his contract by Postecoglou in good faith. Off-field issues have been followed by him failing to bag a single minute of competitive action.
With Furuhashi, Edouard, and potentially Giakoumakis thrown into the mix, there’s no place here anymore for Griffiths. In order to earn a new long-term contract, he needed to shine for the full duration of the campaign.
Now, it’s difficult to see where we can even give him a game. Talk of a swap deal with Hibs for Kevin Nisbet has been floated in recent days [PLZ Soccer]. But one way or another, it’s time to get rid and bring in new blood.
And before the window shuts, we could do with trimming down the goalkeeping department at Celtic Park.
As it stands we have four stoppers fighting for the same position. And all of whom have enough senior experience to their names to not be eyeing up a bench-warmer slot.
Joe Hart is the clear number one, whilst Vasilis Barkas and Scott Bain are in a battle to be considered the main back-up. However, as for Conor Hazard, he’s in the wilderness and needs to move on.
Hazard has been linked with a move to English and Scottish clubs [Scottish Sun]. It comes after a disappointing fall from grace when he was number one for a period last season. The Northern Irishman never managed to cement himself, and has now quickly found himself on the sidelines under the new manager.
At 23, he needs to be playing regular games. He hinted last season that if he wasn’t playing regularly, he would be off [Belfast Telegraph].
With a contract that expires in the summer of 2023, Celtic are as well cashing in now and getting some money for him. All the while we would be trimming an area of the squad that definitely needs a departure.
Of course, Celtic could have a different opinion on who needs to leave this summer. There are still question marks hovering over the likes of Edouard and Ryan Christie. However, if Celtic managed to complete the four transfers listed above, we would be in fine shape coming out of the window.