Omar Elabdellaoui, who Celtic tried to sign in 2019, has confirmed he intends to leave current club Olympiacos on a free transfer at the end of the Greek side’s 2019/20 season, The Scottish Sun reports.
Last year, The Daily Mail reported that Celtic would be scouting the wide man in Romania on October 15th after trying to bring him to Paradise last summer, retaining an interest in his progress.
The right-back has remained in Greece despite significant interest from elsewhere but is now ready to move on to the next chapter of his career once he fulfils his commitments at Olympiacos.
The 28-year-old said, as quoted by The Scottish Sun: “I will sign a small extension so I can complete the league season and play in Europe in August, then leave.
“I’m open to where my next move will be. My priority is to play at a high level and be at a club with European football.
“It goes without saying there are quite a few opportunities for me.”
Elabdellaoui, who captains Norway when Stefan Johansen is unavailable, could now fall into Celtic’s grasp and provide significant competition on the right flank.
Since our reported interest last year Jeremie Frimpong has emerged as a top teenage talent in the position with Hatem Abd Elhamed also available.
However, the latter has had injury problems and Elabdellaoui would add a European experience to the squad that Frimpong simply doesn’t have yet.
It’s unknown what his wage demands would be but his agent, Mikail Adampour, is claiming there is a race to sign him up, telling The Scottish Sun: “We are in dialogue with many teams in Europe. Omar is captain of both club and his national team and has led the only team in Europe so far undefeated in the league and well on his way to taking his fourth title success.
“He is playing the best football of his career and the interest in him is massive.”
If Celtic aren’t in a position to load up on multi-million-pound signings this summer because of financial implications stemming from the ongoing pandemic, then paying players available on a free transfer a good wage that is spread out across the course of a season could be a viable strategy.
The 44-cap international (Transfermarkt) has won three league titles with Olympiacos, as well as a national cup.
That gives him the kind of trophy pedigree that would be useful to the Hoops in a potentially tight title race.
With dozens of appearances in UEFA competition backing that domestic success up, it’s fair to say he has the kind of profile that Celtic should be interested in.