Turkish report: Celtic-linked Aaron Boupendza has chosen to play in Italy

By David Walton

June 30, 2021

Hatayspor’s Celtic-linked striker Aaron Boupendza has chosen to play in Italy next season, Turkish outlet Haber365 reports.

Haber has claimed that Boupendza will play in Serie A next season. This comes with interest in his services from both Fiorentina and Atalanta. It’s said that negotiations with both clubs is currently continuing, with the player himself choosing Italy as his preferred destination.

Celtic were first linked with the player back in mid-March during what was a renaissance of a campaign with Hatayspor in Turkey [90Min]. Boupendza would end the season with 22 goals and a host of clubs apparently chasing his signature.

At one stage, Celtic were even reported to have made a bid for the player according to Turkish sources [Milliyet]. In the end, however, there’s been no follow-up with regards to Parkhead interest.

Instead, it looks as though Boupendza is off to Italy as negotiations progress. With Haber reporting that Hataysport want as much as €10m [£8.6m], this just doesn’t look feasible for Celtic to interject.

Celtic just can’t spend as much as £8.6m on a striker; Aaron Boupendza to Italy feels right

Don’t get me wrong, I would expect Celtic to invest should they sell Odsonne Edouard this summer. If we allow the Frenchman to depart, it means we’ve been offered a decent sum for his services.

Whilst PSG will get a hefty percentage of that, there will be an expectation on Celtic. Replacing Edouard with Sunderland striker Charlie Wyke, for example, just wouldn’t be on.

The Hoops need to put some proper money on the table for a striker who has the potential to be of Edouard’s class. Boupendza would’ve fit the bill, but it can’t be denied his valuation was always too high.

Hatayspor striker Aaron Boupendza (Photo by Burak Milli/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

It’s a shame considering he proved last season he has a wand of a left-foot. The Gabon international, an international team-mate of Pierre Emerick Aubameyang, showed himself to be a pacey centre-forward with tremendous off-ball movement. He would’ve caused real damage in Scotland.

If it was a different summer and under different circumstances, this could’ve been a different story. But we siply can’t justify spending close to £9m on anyone this summer.

It will be interesting to see if Boupendza goes from strength to strength in Italy. But for Celtic it’s all about identifying the right replacement for Odsonne in the coming weeks.

In other news, Ange Postecoglou is set for a major boost when he arrives at Lennoxtown on Monday.