Report: Celtic set to miss out on Ofir Marciano, with Feyenoord keen to wrap up deal
Celtic are set to miss out on free agent and Israel international goalkeeper Ofir Marciano.
Marciano, who had long been linked with a move to Paradise [Edinburgh Live], looks to be signing for Dutch giants Feyenoord.
According to the Sun, the Israeli goalkeeper’s talks with Hibs stalled last season. For his own part, he’s frequently discussed his future.
Now it looks like Feyenoord are ready to seal a deal for the out-of-contract goalkeeper, who has 27 caps [Transfermarkt].
A move has been on the cards for Marciano for some time. In March, he told Israeli publication Ynet:
“Once we get to summer I will think further. I am happy in Europe and feel that the next step can be taken. For me, the most important thing is to play good for the club. Without that, I won’t get any opportunity, not here or at another place. I know my value.”
While talk of Marciano joining Celtic had cooled, there was potential there. A close friend of Nir Bitton, his international teammate, the goalkeeper had talked about his roots in Scotland earlier this season [Ynet]. However, it’s a good move for both parties, although Marciano will face stern competition from former Dutch youth ‘keeper Justin Bijlow.
Ofir Marciano could have been a useful option for Celtic at least, but better targets are out there
There seems little doubt Marciano could have been a decent Celtic goalkeeper. But, decent is about as far as it goes. No harm to him, of course, but it wouldn’t have been the move that supporters probably would’ve hoped for.
We need star power in goals. With names like Mat Ryan and Freddie Woodman being linked more heavily in recent weeks, anything less than a Premier League-quality upgrade between the sticks would’ve been a disappointment. That’s where the supporters’ expectations are now, and rightly so.
That’s not to discredit Marciano’s work in the Scottish Premiership in any way, shape or form. He’s been excellent for Hibs, and although 56 clean sheets in 151 outings isn’t elite [Transfermarkt], it’s worth bearing in mind that the Leith side faced 11.3 shots per game in the Premiership last season [WhoScored?]. Inevitably, if you concede a lot of shots, keeping the net from bulging is a big ask.
What he could do at a “bigger” team is the exciting question for Marciano. If Feyenoord deem him to be a potential number 1, then he’s about to make an excellent move.
As for Celtic, there’ll surely be an appreciation of his talents, but no lost sleep where this move is concerned.