Reported Celtic target previously touted as part of £100m trio alongside Ajer

By Euan Davidson

June 1, 2021

Former Kilmarnock boss Lee Clark once said that reported Celtic target Freddie Woodman constituted one third of a trio worth £100m.

Along with Kristoffer Ajer and Sean Longstaff, Clark had some very decent players working under him at Killie. Woodman has since gone on to impress on loan at Swansea City. Celtic and Southampton are said to be after the stopper’s signature, according to Chronicle Live.

The Southampton link is interesting in its own way, but we’ll get to that.

Speaking exclusively to Not the Old Firm in early April, Clark said:

“Woodman was a World Cup U20s winner, he’s doing so well for Swansea City now, and lots of Premier League clubs are after him. He improved the goalkeeping department, whereas Sean Longstaff and Kristoffer Ajer were instrumental.

“We did some great deals. You could be pushing that £100 million mark (for the players mentioned) without a doubt. We had a high-success rate, you won’t get 100% in the market we are in. There were plenty of positives.”

Celtic are reportedly interested in Freddie Woodman / (Photo by Athena Pictures/Getty Images)

Freddie Woodman: the Celtic permeations to consider

Whether an ambitious, monied club would spent £100m on Freddie Woodman, Sean Longstaff and Kristoffer Ajer is besides the point. It’s still a very interesting link all-round. Lee Clark may have not lasted long as the boss of Kilmarnock, but in hindsight, he built a pretty impressive squad.

Under him, Kristoffer Ajer was converted to a centre-back. The Norwegian was impressive in the white and blue of Killie, and came back to Celtic as one of the first-choice central defenders. Woodman, again on loan from Newcastle United, continued his development, and was one of the Championship’s star men over the last season. Sean Longstaff is… well, he’s fine.

So there’s a pre-established working relationship there. If Celtic can get Woodman, and if Kristoffer Ajer somehow stayed at the club, the spine would look a lot more solid from the get-go. However, we are Celtic supporters, and the chances are it won’t go all that smoothly.

As for Southampton’s interest: where does that leave Fraser Forster? If the Saints gazump us once more, then it puts the former Celtic stopper in another interesting situation. Is it really unthinkable that the Bhoys could land him again, on the proviso that Woodman would displace Forster?

As ever, everything is connected, but also it isn’t. The transfer window: you have to love it.

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