Celtic are reportedly not plotting a move to bring Jani Atanasov to Parkhead this summer, despite rampant speculation in recent days.
According to Football Scotland journalist Mark Hendry, the Hoops are not believed to be eyeing a swoop for the Hajduk Split midfielder this summer, amid suggestion that the 22-year-old is a player of interest for the Scottish champions.
Writing on Twitter about the North Macedonia international, the transfer insider stated: “As for Jani Atanasov, nothing in pipeline, as far as we understand.”
It will seemingly come as a blow that the Old Firm giants are not in for the 6 foot 2 menace, with manager Ange Postecoglou likely to be frustrated at potentially not being able to bolster his midfield ranks again before the September deadline.
While the title-winning coach has already brought in compatriot Aaron Mooy so far this summer – having also signed the likes of James McCarthy, Matt O’Riley and Reo Hatate last season – further depth could well be needed this season, particularly in a holding role.
The Scottish Premiership outfit are still lacking in that department after seeing long-serving gem Nir Bitton depart the club – alongside playmaker Tom Rogic – while Ismaila Soro has been shipped out on loan to Portuguese side, FC Arouca.
That has left Callum McGregor as the first-choice option at the base of the midfield, albeit with the Scotland international also adept in a more advanced starting berth, with the lack of a viable alternative in the pivot role likely to be of concern.
A defensive midfielder by trade, Atanasov would seemingly have been able to help plug that gap having impressed in Croatia of late, scoring five goals and recording two assists in 59 games in all competitions for his current side thus far.
An imposing presence in front of the back four, the one-cap warrior notably averaged 1.6 tackles and won 65% of his aerial duels from his 21 league games last term, with that record similar to that of the aforementioned McGregor, for instance, who averaged 1.5 tackles per game and won 71% of his aerial duels in the 2021/22 campaign.
It would seemingly make sense to have a figure who can slot in for the ever-reliable skipper on occasion, particularly with Celtic competing on a number of fronts this season, hence Postecoglou’s potential frustration that a deal for Atanasov may not be in the works.