Celtic have been dealt a January deadline day blow as Jose Mourinho snubs any potential move for out of favour defender Japhet Tanganga. The Bhoys were hoping to strike a move for him before the window closes this evening, as per the Daily Record.
According to the Evening Standard’s Dan Kilpatrick, Tottenham Hotspur are not willing to let the 21-year-old leave the club in a hurry. Despite the fact Tanganga has made just seven first team appearances this season, it appears he is still viewed as an important asset to Mourinho.
Whilst the Premier League-winning manager can enjoy a stacked defensive roster, Neil Lennon is struggling to keep his side afloat. This season has been highly disappointing for the Hoops, who look to surrender their Premiership crown to neighbours and rivals Rangers.
The blue side of Glasgow leads the way in the table, cushioned by a mammoth 23-point gap. For Celtic, this will sting even more as the Gers will put a stop to their tenth consecutive league title.
A lot of factors have contributed to Celtic’s disappointing campaign, but their main worry is that their defence has been consistently leaky. Lennon’s options have been limited in more than one sense of the word. Christopher Jullien has missed a total of 29 matches this season through injury and a further three due to having to self-isolate, according to Transfermarkt.
Summer loan signing Shane Duffy has been a big disappointment and was subject to talks of his stay at Parkhead being cut short.
With the departure of Jeremie Frimpong also rocking the boat at Celtic, Lennon would have hugely benefitted from a player like Tanganga. The £45,000 per week defender is naturally a centre-back but has been deployed on both the left and right flanks under Mourinho, hugely showing off his versatility.
This could have been a huge coup for Celtic, even if Tanganga only joined on a loan deal. They are desperate for some stability and depth across the backline and look as though they must struggle with what they have for the rest of the season.