Greek top-flight side AEK Athens are keen to cash in on goalkeeper Vasilio Barkas this summer in an effort to help balance their books, The Daily Record have reported this weekend.
The paper says that major backer Dimitris Melissanidis and technical director Ilia Ivic have been in recent discussions and have decided Barkas should be sold this summer, valuing him at £5m.
It’s reported they are ‘desperate’ to receive funds for the first-team regular because of damaging UEFA fines and loss of revenue due to the ongoing pandemic.
Celtic are believed to have placed the ten-cap Greek international on a list of potential replacements for last season’s number one Fraser Forster, going so far as to enquire about his availability, as first reported by The Scottish Daily Mail last week.
Younger than other reported targets David Marshall and Joe Hart, Barkas is a ‘keeper still improving his reputation in the game but who could be at his peak for many years to come.
He’s made over 100 appearances for AEK and played in both legs of our Champions League qualifying tie against them back in 2018, helping knock Brendan Rodgers’ outfit into the Europa League.
For me, Forster should remain the priority despite an impasse being reached with Southampton.
Surely more discussions will take place between the two clubs about a permanent switch? That is what the former England international is said to want, rather than another loan move (The Scottish Sun).
Still, getting a young hungry goalie such as Barkas into Neil Lennon’s squad, on terms that could suit us, wouldn’t be a bad back-up plan and for me is a sign the club have cast the net far and wide in their search for a new player to compete with Scott Bain.
With just a few weeks to go until the start of the season, business needs to be done soon.