Alongside Peter Lawell’s announcement that Celtic yesterday recorded their best-ever interim financial results, the bullish assertion that the club could also spend £8m on a single player this summer will prove a tantalising conversation piece for fans over the next few months.
Lawell’s stipulation that a prospective £8m outlay needs to represent value to the club is par for the course and will spark up speculation surrounding a few of the more attractive targets linked with Celtic recently.
“We would not buy a 29-year-old at £8m on a four year contract at £40,000 a week because that is dead money,”said Lawell.
“If there is value in signing an £8m player we will look at it.
“The money is there to be reinvested in the squad.”
With the above in mind, Cenk Tosun would certainly have fitted the bill, had the 22-year old not been snapped up by Besiktas just a couple of days ago.
However, there are multiple targets Neil Lennon will continue to keep tabs on in the forthcoming months. Here are top three candidates so far…
A short game of cat and mouse between Celtic and Sunderland hinted at Fletcher moving back above the border though this was quashed by Gus Poyet’s understandably inflated price for his top scorer, who commanded a £12m fee not so long ago. The availability of the forward will be largely dependent upon the Black Cats’ Premier League status, though with Fletcher in and out of the side, it would be surprising if an approach from Celtic wouldn’t turn his head. In terms of what he’d offer the club, Fletcher would seem the ideal acquisition: dangerous in the air, predatory around the box and armed with in-depth experience of Scottish football.
It was widely reported during the January transfer window that Celtic might be priced out of a move for the Icelandic striker. Not anymore. Heerenveen’s front man has been banging them in in the Eredivisie this term, with 22 goals in 20 games in all competitions. Such form has attracted a host of Premier League suitors, though the Hoops will certainly have the financial clout to compete in a crowded marketplace now and their long-standing interest will definitely appeal to a player who is keen to escape Holland as soon as possible.
U.S. striker Johannsson was another one looked at by Lennon on a recent scouting mission to the Netherlands. The 24-year old has caught the eye with a series of athletic displays at AZ Alkmaar and it’s likely that his value has increased beyond the £5m being touted last summer. With the man himself teasing in a potential move to Glasgow on Twitter just before Christmas, it’s obvious that playing at Celtic Park is on his radar.
— Aron Jóhannsson (@aronjo20) December 26, 2013