An update has emerged on Celtic’s pursuit of Royal Antwerp defender Aurelio Buta…
According to Turkish journalist Ekrem Konur, Celtic have made their opening offer for Royal Antwerp right-back Aurelio Buta.
Konur has claimed that the Hoops have offered £2.1m (€2.5m) for the defender, although Antwerp are hoping for a fee closer to £3m (€3.5m). Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou is said to want the deal completed as swiftly as possible to bolster his squad ahead of next season.
Celtic could land Jeremie Frimpong 2.0 if they are able to get a deal over the line for the defender. The Hoops must go in with a second offer closer to Antwerp’s asking price as he could be an excellent addition to the squad and a player Postecoglou would love to work with next term.
Frimpong played 22 matches in the first-half of the 2020/21 Scottish Premiership campaign before his January move to Bayer Leverkusen, averaging a SofaScore rating of 6.81. Buta, meanwhile, averaged a score of 6.74 in 25 games for Antwerp, suggesting that the pair are of a similar level in terms of ability – albeit Frimpong has a slight edge.
“He’s one of the best full-backs in the Belgium league – that’s a widespread opinion.
“In the last two years he’s grown defensively, he has admitted that himself. He’s quite a small player but he’s technically very gifted. We have a history in Belgium of good attacking full-backs and he really fits right in. He’s instrumental to Antwerp.”
Nzeyimani mentions that the Antwerp ace is a small player for a right-back, which is another comparative point to Frimpong. The ex-Celtic man stands at 5ft 6, which is exactly the same height as Buta. This, along with their respective statistics, shows that he could be the club’s Frimpong 2.0 if they are able to get a deal over the line for him, which is why Postecoglou would love him at Celtic Park.
The Hoops coach would also be delighted to have a player with his defensive qualities. Buta made zero errors leading to goals last season and conceded zero penalties. This shows that he is a solid player who could come in and be a reliable option on the right flank.