Reported 2020 Celtic target Aliou Traore released by Manchester United

By David Walton

June 8, 2021

Aliou Traore, linked with Celtic last summer, has been officially released by Manchester United.

12 months ago, France Football claimed that Celtic, Rangers, and Benfica were all interested in the midfielder.

At the time, he had yet to taste first-team football. That changed this season when United sent him out on loan to Ligue 2 side Caen. He would go on to make his first 24 senior outings, but spent the last two months of his time in France out of the matchday squads [Trasfermarkt].

A versatile midfielder, Traore can play on either flank and has experience of doing so. However, his main position is in an attacking midfield role. At 20 years old, there remains plenty of development potential, but there hasn’t been a host of clubs queuing up to nab him.

Despite being a regular with United’s development side in the Premier League 2, his loan spell with Caen has appeared to put a dent in his reputation.

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It may be worth Celtic taking a look at him to see whether he would be a good fit under Ange Postecoglou. He was highly regarded before his loan move to Caen, so it would be naive to judge him fully based on what he did back in France.

His release from Old Trafford is hardly shameful either. Displacing the likes of Bruno Fernandes, Scott McTominay, and Paul Pogba from the first-team was never going to be likely. But he could offer some useful traits that would come at a low risk.

Given he would be a free transfer, there’s not a lot to be worried about. Traore is known to be a dominant ball-carrier, a player able to break through the lines and add a goal threat from midfield. Celtic are always in the market for players like that, and if Olivier Ntcham leaves along with Scott Brown, there may be a need for some quality backup.

Aliou Traore celebrates for Manchester United under-23s (Photo by Manchester United/Manchester United via Getty Images)

His Caen spell may make it wiser for Celtic to offer him a trial if there is any interest. Whilst his signing would come with minimal risk, the club would want to be confident that they were making the right decision. If Postecoglou believes this is one worth tracking, a strong look at him would be ideal.

Interest in the midfielder could dictate whether he’d even be open to that kind of offer. Should the likes of Benfica reignite any interest that was there, it becomes more difficult to do a potential deal.

Regardless, there are no signs as of yet that Celtic are ready to revisit this. But it’s an option there if we decide to use it for our rebuild.

In other news, Ntcham has been reportedly interesting a team in Turkey.