Journalist Pete O’Rourke has issued a worrying verdict regarding the future of Celtic defender Josip Juranovic, with the Croatia international having been linked with a departure from Parkhead of late.
Speaking to GIVEMESPORT, the transfer insider suggested that the 27-year-old could be tempted into leaving the Premiership champions before the end of the window, amid reported interest from Premier League giants Manchester United and Chelsea.
As deadline day approaches, O’Rourke delivered his thoughts on the future of the 20-cap gem, saying: “I think it’s hard for any player to turn down the chance to move to the Premier League, a chance to move to a top club like Manchester United, or Chelsea as well is a very hard proposition to resist.
“And obviously, the finances would be better for the player if he moved down to the Premier League, and also, his profile will be raised if he moved to English football as well.
“So, a lot to contend with, and unfortunately for Celtic, or anybody else in Scotland, they aren’t able to compete with the riches that are on offer in the Premier League.”
The thought of losing the impressive full-back – who could reportedly cost in the region of £15m – would no doubt prove a real blow to Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou, with the defender having been a hugely influential figure at the club since his arrival from Legia Warsaw this time last year.
The fact that he has already been tipped for a departure may have come as somewhat of a surprise with it still early days in his Hoops career, although it is also a testament to the “outstanding” form that he has shown so far, in the words of former Scotland defender Alan Hutton.
The 5 foot 8 menace has looked right at home in Postecoglou’s attacking system since his arrival in Glasgow, scoring five goals and registering three assists in 39 games across all competitions to date.
Having been a vital part of the team which reclaimed the league title last season – he was their seventh-highest rated outfield player according to WhoScored – the £6.3m-rated ace has also begun the new campaign in fine fashion, having already registered one assist in the opening four league games.
His value is also represented by the fact that he is able to feature on either side of defence, with such versatility likely to be crucial ahead of a campaign which will see the Bhoys compete both domestically and in Europe.
Those in Glasgow will no doubt be desperate to keep him beyond the end of the transfer window, while the defender’s former Legia team-mate – and ex-Celtic goalkeeper – Artur Boruc has suggested that it could be to his benefit to stay at the club for another year at least.
With four years remaining on his current contract, it will likely take a sizeable offer for the Parkhead club to be tempted into a sale, with supporters no doubt hoping that Juranovic honours that deal by staying a little while longer.
Should the bright lights of English football spark a desire to leave Glasgow, though, it will not only leave a sizeable void in Postecoglou’s side, but also very little time to fill it, with the market closing on 1 September.