Celtic look set to receive a second offer for Stephen Welsh in the January transfer window.
That’s according to a report by The Sun, who claim that after Ange Postecoglou’s side rejected Udinese’s initial offer of a loan with an option to buy the centre-back, the Serie A side are preparing a second bid in the coming days to test the Bhoys’ resolve for the 21-year-old.
Further reports have suggested that Celtic have placed an asking price of €2m (£1.6m) on the Scotland U21 international, while Messaggero Veneto go as far as to suggest that the defender would be open to a move to Italy this month.
While it is true that Welsh is not currently a guaranteed starter at Parkhead, considering the undoubted potential the centre-back possesses, it would certainly be a huge mistake for Postecoglou to cash in on the 21-year-old this January.
Indeed, over his nine Premiership outings in the current campaign, the £1.35m-rated defender has been in fantastic form for the Bhoys, helping his side keep three clean sheets and providing one assist, in addition to making an average of 1.6 interceptions, 0.8 tackles, 85.9 passes, 2.2 clearances and winning 5.1 duels per game.
These metrics have seen the £3.6k-per-week man average a rather extraordinary SofaScore match rating of 7.11, ranking him as Celtic’s 10th-best player in the league – of the players who remain a part of Postecoglou’s first-team squad.
The 21-year-old also impressed over his three Europa League fixtures this season, scoring the opener in Celtic’s 3-2 win over Real Betis back in December, as well as averaging a SofaScore match rating of 7.07.
As such, while the likes of Carl Starfelt, Cameron Carter-Vickers and even Christopher Jullien may well be ahead of Welsh in the Paradise pecking order at present, it is undeniable that the centre-back has the ability to go on and become a crucial part of Postecoglou’s back four in the future, and perhaps even a Celtic captain.
So, selling the defender so soon into his professional career would indeed appear to be something of a disaster for the Bhoys, particularly for as little as £1.6m.