Celtic have been dealt a huge blow in their bid to secure Vasilis Barkas a move away from Parkhead this month.
That’s according to a report by the Daily Mail (via the Daily Record), who claim that Sheffield United were in talks to sign the Celtic goalkeeper on a temporary basis this month, however, the Blades have now pulled out of the deal upon the Bhoys’ request for the Championship side to pay them a loan fee.
The report goes on to state that Celtic also attempted to place a £2.5m option to buy clause in the 27-year-old’s temporary contract, while United were looking to negotiate a lower fee.
It was also believed that the Hoops were demanding the second-tier side picked up the vast majority of the Greek international’s £20k-per-week wages.
Considering just how poor Barkas has been since his £4.5m move to Celtic back in the summer of 2020, the news that Sheffield United’s move for the ‘keeper now appears to be dead in the water is sure to have left the Parkhead faithful gutted.
Indeed, over his 15 Premiership appearances last season, the £1.35m-rated shot-stopper failed to ever really stake his claim at becoming the Bhoys’ undisputed number one, making an average of just one save and conceding 0.7 goals per game.
These returns saw the 27-year-old earn an extremely disappointing seasonal SofaScore rating of just 6.79, ranking him as the Hoops’ joint ninth-worst performer in the top flight of Scottish football last time out.
Furthermore, since Ange Postecoglou’s arrival in Glasgow last summer, the Greek ‘keeper has featured just twice under the management of the 56-year-old, something which renders Barkas’ £20k-per-week wage as money well and truly wasted.
As such, the news that a team of Sheffield United’s stature were even interested in the shot-stopper will perhaps come as a surprise to many Celtic fans, while the fact that the deal now looks to have fallen through will undoubtedly come as a huge blow to Postecoglou – who could have easily spent the goalkeeper’s wages on a target of his own this month.