Former Celtic defender Erik Sviatchenko on brink of lucrative MLS move

By John McGinley

March 19, 2023

Former Celtic defender Erik Sviatchenko is on the brink of leaving European football to ply his trade in Major League Soccer this year, insider journalist Tom Bogert has reported on Sunday.

Bogert reports that Houston Dynamo are currently finalising his signing from FC Midtjylland in Denmark as one of their key ‘Targeted Allocation Money’ acquisitions – meaning he will likely be earning significantly more than the average player in the league, albeit not in the ‘Designated Player’ bracket.

Sviatchenko has had two spells with Midtjylland, originally leaving his boyhood club to sign for Celtic during the Ronny Deila era before becoming a favourite with supporters after Brendan Rodgers took charge. He made 43 appearances in total during the Invincibles season.

Photo by Jeff Holmes/Getty Images

Sviatchenko was a key part of Midtjylland’s Europa League run this season, featuring in all six of their group stage games on the way to a second-place finish, even scoring big goals against Lazio and Feyenoord.

The defender has often spoken of his fondness for the Bhoys since his 2018 exit and even revealed last year that he was in discussions to rejoin the club in 2021 during Ange Postecoglou’s first transfer window, but Celtic moved on to other options.

Sviatchenko once said, “There are two clubs. It’s Midtjylland, and it’s Celtic. They are my clubs.”

Never shy to share his dream of one day returning to Glasgow to play for the Bhoys, it seems that the ship has sailed for both parties. The great Dane will now look to establish himself as a regular in the USA.

Last month, the defender namechecked Celtic as a reason for his desire to play abroad again, stating: “I would really like to experience what I did at Celtic. So playing abroad. Because I think it was a great experience, and I would like to play in a different league than the Superliga.”

The MLS season is already underway for 2023 but clubs have until late April to sign up players from other leagues, meaning Sviatchenko has a bit of time to put the finishing touches to his big move, with Bogert reporting it is close.

The best of luck to you on your journey, Erik!

In other news, Kenny Miller says Celtic can now put “untold amounts of pressure” on Michael Beale’s Rangers.