Neil Lennon said Celtic are ‘well-covered’ in central defence when asked about a potential move for Filip Benkovic on Tuesday, speaking in his pre-match press conference on the club’s official YouTube channel.
The Leicester Mercury have reported this month that the Hoops are one of a number of clubs interested in taking the player on loan before the January deadline.
Lennon was asked at the weekend about the player and although he was non-committal, didn’t rule it out either (The Scotsman).
His latest answer though is a little less hopeful for fans eager to see the defender return to Celtic Park.
When the issue came up today. the manager said (Celtic YouTube, 9:23): “I got asked that at the weekend, y’know, but I think we’re well covered at centre-half.”
The response doesn’t just seem to play down a move for Benkovic but any kind of central defender, which might not go down as an especially popular decision with the Hoops support.
As we discussed earlier this week, there’s been a clamouring from some fans to make a move for Benkovic in the final few days of the window.
Is this worrying?
Lennon could simply be playing it cool as the club take care of business behind the scenes in pursuit of a defender.
If he genuinely believes we have enough in central defence for the second half of the season then it would raise questions.
Currently, we have only Kristoffer Ajer, Christopher Jullien and Jozo Simunovic available as natural choices and with the manager opting to field a back three in some matches recently, such as against Kilmarnock, we don’t exactly have a lot of depth.
Midfielder Nir Bitton can slot in but he’s currently injured himself.
We have matches ahead in three competitions ahead and the schedule could take its toll in the back-end of a long, gruelling season.
It’s going to be very interesting to see how the final few days of the window play out.
Will the right player become available at the right price?