Celtic continue to be linked with Sampdoria’s Omar Colley as they look to bolster their squad in the January transfer window. The Hoops approached the Italian outfit with a reported £10million offer for the centre-back, an amount that would have made him the club’s record signing.
However, their bid was knocked back but now, CalcioNews24 report that Sampdoria have changed their stance on Colley and are willing to let him leave the club. Whilst this will come as good news to Celtic, Peter Lawwell must avoid the temptation to splash his cash on the 28-year-old.
Neil Lennon’s area of concern is undoubtedly his defence. Kristoffer Ajer is heavily linked to a move away from Celtic Park and Shane Duffy is currently only at the club temporarily. Once the Southampton loanee returns to St Mary’s, and should Ajer leave for pastures new, it will leave Celtic with just two established senior centre-backs.
The Hoops must prioritise recruiting a new centre-half, but the answer doesn’t lie in Colley.
It seems as though Sampdoria have had a change of heart upon the realisation that the Gambian will soon be entering the final 12 months of his contract. His current £28,000 per week deal expires in the summer of 2022 and the Serie A side won’t want to wait until next summer or they will be forced to offer Colley up at a reduced price.
Lennon also has Nir Bitton at his disposal, who may be a midfielder by trade but has been solid across the backline this season as he has filled in for injured teammates. The 29-year-old also played in defence for Israel during the international break and kept a clean sheet in his most recent appearance against Scotland.
All of Bitton’s appearances for Celtic this campaign have been as a defender, which only further highlights how important his versatility is to Lennon. Rather than spending a record amount on a new centre-back, the club has the option to transform Bitton into a permanent defender and develop the awaiting youngsters from the reserve team.