Celtic have had an initial bid for goalkeeper Vasilios Barkas rejected by Greek side AEK Athens, The Glasgow Times reports this evening.
It’s said that Celtic had hoped an early bid for the player would convince them to part ways with the ten-cap international but that the two clubs are still a distance apart in negotiations.
The report states a £3.2m offer was turned down, with AEK looking for a fee upwards of £4.6m.
Now Neil Lennon is hoping that the club will return with a stronger financial package in an effort to secure the man he wants to replace Fraser Forster at Celtic Park, the paper says.
The Greek shot-stopper isn’t going cheap but does have plenty of experience at a good level, making over 100 appearances for his club across all competitions, as well as breaking into the national team.
Celtic have a real need to bolster the position with Scott Bain currently the only goalkeeper on the books who is capable of competing at a senior level with the champions.
With the Premiership kick-off just over a week away, it’s clear that the club are now ramping up the Forster-replacement search and have focused in on Barkas as the solution.
The Bhoys have also been linked with Joe Hart, David Marshall and Vaclav Hladky this summer but this move for Barkas is a little more ambitious and shows the club means business when it comes to strengthening Lennon’s options.
The Glasgow Times reports that Leeds United and Montpellier are also keen on the 26-year-old, so there is a bit of urgency to get this one over the line.
Hopefully, Lennon now gets what he wants and the decision-makers at Celtic Park can sort out the details on the financial end.