Celtic are reportedly plotting a move for Schalke defender Malick Thiaw, amid suggestion that Christopher Jullien could be on his way out of Parkhead.
According to Calciomercato, the 20-year-old has begun talks with the Old Firm giants regarding a possible move this summer, having played a vital role in the German outfit’s return to the Bundesliga last season.
The Dusseldorf-born ace – who is a product of the club’s youth system – featured 31 times in the second tier last term as his current side secured promotion back to the top flight, having only made his senior debut during the 2019/20 campaign.
This latest speculation regarding the highly-rated prospect comes amid talk that the aforementioned Jullien could be heading for the exit door, having fallen down the pecking order under Ange Postecoglou in recent times.
It had appeared that Schalke, ironically, would be the Frenchman’s destination, although journalist Fabrizio Romano has since revealed that the 29-year-old was unable to agree personal terms with the club.
The suggestion is, however, that a departure remains an inevitability, with the former Toulouse man – who arrived in Glasgow on a £7m deal three years ago – having made just a solitary appearance in all competitions last term, totalling a measly 16 minutes.
A lengthy layoff due to injury had seemingly put paid to what was a promising start to life in Scotland for the £20k-per-week giant, with the change in manager no doubt playing its part in his subsequent decline, with Postecoglou favouring the centre-back pairing of Carl Starfelt and Cameron Carter-Vickers during last season’s title-winning campaign.
That likely outgoing will undoubtedly heighten the need for a new addition, hence the reported interest in Thiaw, a player who has been described as a “big talent” by scout Jacek Kulig.
His impressive form last term saw the youngster average 3.4 clearances, 2.6 tackles and 1.7 interceptions per game in the league, keeping eight clean sheets in that time and winning a solid 61% of his total duels.
It may be a gamble to invest so heavily in a player with just 58 senior club games under his belt, although the indication is that he will have a bright future ahead of him, with Celtic Park seemingly the ideal place for his talent to be nurtured.
As such, it could be the end of one Hoops career with regards to Jullien and the beginning of another for young Thiaw.