Celtic have been dealt a potential blow in their bid to bring Albert Gudmundsson to Parkhead.
That’s according to a report by Italian publication La Gazzetta dello Sport (via LazioNews24), who claimed that Maurizio Sarri is interested in a deal to bring the AZ Alkmaar winger to the Stadio Olimpico in the January transfer window.
Previous reports had claimed that Celtic are also interested in a move for the 24-year-old, but it is believed that the Bhoys were hoping to land the Iceland international on a free transfer upon the expiry of his current contract at the end of the season, rather than paying the €5m (£4.2m) that AZ are reported to be demanding in order to part with the forward next month.
While it now looks as if Celtic will face strong competition in the race for Gudmundsson, it would nevertheless seem advisable for Ange Postecoglou to do all he can to seal a deal for the versatile winger in January, as the 24-year-old would very much appear to be an upgrade on a number of the Hoops’ current options out wide.
Indeed, over his 17 Eredivisie appearances so far this season, the £3.6m-rated man has scored four goals, registered one assist and created three big chances for his teammates, as well as taking 1.1 shots and making 0.9 key passes per game.
For comparison, across Mikey Johnston’s 11 Premiership outings in the current campaign, the £900k-rated winger has scored no goals, provided no assists and missed one big chance for his team, with these returns seeing the 22-year-old average a SofaScore match rating of 6.85.
As such, it is clear to see that Gudmundsson would be an upgrade on the player who Frank McAvennie dubbed a “part-timer” at Parkhead earlier this season. We believe that Postecoglou should do everything he can to beat Lazio to the signing of the 24-year-old AZ winger next month, while subsequently waving goodbye to Johnstone.