Hatayspor don't mention Celtic as one of the contenders to sign Aaron Boupendza

By David Walton

June 6, 2021

Hatayspor have cleared up the current state of play surrounding reported Celtic target Aaron Boupendza.

The Hoops were first linked with a move for the Gabon striker back in January [90Min]. It had been claimed back then that a host of English Premier League teams had been monitoring the striker also.

In recent times, Turkish media have claimed that Celtic had submitted an offer of £5.6m for his services [Milliyet]. 90Min had previously reported that it would take as much as £8.5m to seal a deal.

However, despite all of this, it doesn’t seem as though Celtic are in the running at all. Senior Hatayspor official Dr Lutfu Savas has discussed some of the clubs in talks with Boupendza, and Celtic don’t seem to come into the equation.

As quoted by Milliyet, Savas said: “We do not have an agreement with Boupendza with any team. There are teams from 3 different countries (Spain, Italy and England) interested. If they give us a price that satisfies us, we’ll let him transfer. But we don’t say we will definitely sell it. We have no complaints about Boupendza. If he stays, he will play successfully in our team.

“We did not have a meeting with Galatasaray or Fenerbahce for Boupendza. We only met halfway through last season – we are in talks with well-established teams from England, Italy and Spain. These are the teams who have made official offers.”

Hatayspor to Celtic doesn’t look likely for Aaron Boupendza

Many Celtic fans would’ve been raising their eyebrows at the prospect of us putting in such a heavy offer for Boupendza. Not because he’s a poor player. After all, he finished as the top scorer in Turkey last season with 22 goals [Transfermarkt]. But because we have no recruitment or football management team in place as of yet.

Links to young English talent and potential domestic long-term projects doesn’t surprise. You can see why Celtic would continue to recruit players who are signed with potential for the future.

But when it comes to big-money strikers? It never looked likely without a manager in place. After all, who was sanctioning as much as £5.6m for Boupendza? Are we really going to go up to our new manager and tell him we’ve already found his number one striker? No decent boss worth his salt would accept that kind of operation. It would strike the wrong tone immediately.

Hantayspor striker Aaron Boupendza celebrates vs Besiktas (Photo by Burak Milli/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

It wouldn’t surprise you if Celtic did indeed splash out for a new striker this summer. Some may even feel that it’s essential given Odsonne Edouard is almost certainly set to leave. Boupendza could easily have come into the equation too.

But it doesn’t look as though Celtic have progressed beyond any initial monitoring of the Gabon international. Whether that changes in the coming weeks of course remains to be seen. It all depends on whether Ange Postecoglou identifies his as his ideal target.

There are so many unknowns about Celtic’s rebuild this summer. Thankfully, however, it doesn’t look as though major signings are being made before a new boss is in the door.

In other news, Celtic’s commercial ventures are being damaged badly due to their recent managerial chaos.