Many new faces are expected to arrive at Celtic this summer as the Glasgow giants aim to rebuild their squad, and one of the first names through the door could be Newcastle United goalkeeper Freddie Woodman.
What’s the story?
According to The Chronicle, the 24-year-old is set to leave St James’ Park after finding his route to the first team blocked following a successful 12-month spell at Swansea City.
The report claims another loan move away from Woodman’s parent club is likely to occur, with Premier League outfit Southampton also keen on the former England Under-21 international’s signature.
Fans will be buzzing
Celtic surrendered their Scottish Premiership title without a fight in 2020/21, finishing a huge 25 points behind their fiercest rivals Rangers.
A key reason behind their disappointing collapse was their poor defensive record compared to Steven Gerrard’s men.
The Hoops leaked 16 more goals than the newly-crowned champions, largely down to poor performances between the sticks from shot-stoppers Vasilis Barkas and Scott Bain and getting a new goalkeeper needs to be high on Dominic McKay’s list of priorities.
Therefore, news that the highly-rated Woodman has been linked with a move to Parkhead will surely have the club’s supporters buzzing.
After keeping 20 clean sheets in 45 Championship appearances for Swansea throughout the recently concluded campaign, interest is high in the £8.1 million rated keeper (as per Transfermarkt), and he remains open-minded about his next move.
“I hope this isn’t the last game I play in a Swansea shirt,” Woodman revealed after the Swans were defeated in the play-off final.
“The main thing is to sort out my next step; if that’s in a Swansea shirt, then brilliant, but if it’s not, I have to crack on, and that’s football.
“I’m a Swansea City fan now; I’ll be looking out for their results straight away, but football’s a funny game, and anything can happen. We’ll see what happens.”
With Martin Dubravka and Karl Darlow both enjoying solid seasons at Newcastle and with both seemingly ahead of Woodman in Steve Bruce’s pecking order, the youngster may have to leave boyhood club once again in search of regular game time.
He has experience of playing north of the border before, though, having enjoyed a six-month stint with Aberdeen back in 2018, and the 6 ft 1 gem could be the ideal signing to get Celtic back on track. Celtic fans will surely be buzzing if they get themselves a new goalkeeper for the season, as they were let down too often last year by both Barkas and Bain.