Celtic are interested in signing Benfica defender Branimir Kalaica this summer, The Daily Mail reports.

The Croatian U21 international, now 22, joined the Portuguese top-flight side back in 2016 but has failed to become a regular part of their first-team plans.

In recent seasons he’s been utilised in the club’s ‘B’ side, who play in the second-tier Liga Pro, but it now looks like he could kickstart his career abroad.


The Daily Mail believes that Celtic are one of his admirers and will compete with Premier League side Watford and Championship promotion hopefuls Leeds United for his signature.

Neil Lennon could do with a central defender after the departure of Jozo Simunovic at the end of last season.

More depth is needed beyond regulars Christopher Jullien and Kristoffer Ajer, especially if the manager persists with a back-three formation.

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Kalaica, at 6ft 5in (Transfermarkt), has the physical profile that Lennon likes from his centre-backs and Croatia have a fine track record of producing talented young defenders.

His lack of top-flight experience would be a concern though Celtic are known as a club that can polish a rough diamond into a player capable of winning titles and competing in Europe.

Reported Celtic target Branimir Kalaica in action for Benfica B

Reported Celtic target Branimir Kalaica in action for Benfica B / (Photo by Gualter Fatia/Getty Images)

With the goalkeeping situation at Celtic dominating recent headlines, it’s easy to forget there is plenty of other work that needs to be done on Lennon’s squad if we are to maintain our exceptional success next season.

Bringing in players early and confidently is what every fan wants to see.

It’ll be interesting to watch if this transfer link develops into something more concrete.

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