Report: Celtic summer target Kristijan Lovric set for surprising transfer move

By Euan Davidson

February 15, 2022

Celtic summer target Kristijan Lovric is getting his move from HNK Gorica, but he’s staying in the 1. HNL, according to a report from Croatia.

Vecernji report that Lovric will move to Osijek imminently, and is set to undergo a medical. The winger was linked to Celtic by the Daily Mail in July, with the Croatian club Gorica putting a £4.2m price-tag on him. However, no move came to fruition, despite Lovric repeatedly teasing fans on social media.

Instead, he’ll go from fifth-placed Gorica to second-placed Osijek, according to Vecernji. There, the report claims, he’ll earn €300,000 per year. Around €2m, plus bonuses, will change hands between the clubs – a far cry from the sums being mooted in the summer.

Photo by Jurij Kodrun/Getty Images

Lovric has had a decent season thus far. He’s directly contributed to 15 goals [Transfermarkt], and will surely add to his solo cap before too long. Fast, with bundles of trickery and end product, Celtic supporters were excited about the possibility of Lovric wearing the Hoops.

That never came to pass, and instead Jota was brought in on loan from Benfica. With 10 goals and 9 assists to his name [Transfermarkt], suffice it to say it’s worked out alright for Celtic. Still, given the costs involved here, it’s hard not to wonder about the firmness of Celtic’s reported interest, and whether a Hoops move could’ve happened.

Rumoured Celtic target Kristijan Lovric takes different path

Again, Lovric’s name was one that excited Celtic supporters. In the modern landscape of scouting, analytics and YouTube highlight reels, it was hard not to be.

With his prowess from set-pieces, his general eye for goal and a trick or two up his sleeve, it’s not exactly a mystery. However, he’s reportedly set for a different path.

It’s a surprising move, though. Given the interest from outside Croatia, and his international prospects, you might’ve thought a move outside his homeland could’ve been on. That’s not to disrespect the 1. HNL by any means, but given the attention he could garner elsewhere, it would’ve surely bolstered his international hopes.

Photo by Lukas Schulze/Getty Images

Also, reports from Croatia last month seemed to indicate that this particular transfer was dead.

That, and an aforementioned fondness for Celtic on social media. Given the uncertainty over Jota staying, Lovric could’ve been someone to consider in the long-term.

If we signed every player we were ever linked with, however, we’d have a squad of hundreds. For whatever reason, Lovric to Celtic never happened, and now he’s seemingly joining a title contender in Croatia.

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