There has been an update regarding the future of Celtic defender Stephen Welsh…
According to Football Scotland journalist Mark Hendry, while the Parkhead outfit have been approached by Toulouse regarding the 22-year-old, the discussions have not progressed past an initial enquiry.
Writing on Twitter about the situation, the respected source stated:
“As for Stephen Welsh, for those asking, there was a call made by Toulouse but that’s as far as it’s gone.”
This follows a report from Sky Sports which revealed that the Ligue 1 side had enquired about taking the Scotsman on loan for the upcoming campaign, albeit with manager Ange Postecoglou said to be unwilling to let the youngster depart.
The promising centre-back – who still has three years remaining on his existing deal – had been the subject of interest from Serie A side Udinese in January, although the offer was rebuffed by the Hoops.
That news will no doubt come as a huge relief to supporters, with it a welcome boost to know that there has been no real development in Welsh’s potential move to France, heightening the possibility that he will remain at Celtic Park this summer.
In truth, it would seemingly make little sense to sanction the loan departure of a player who had been a valued figure under Postecoglou last term, making 24 appearances in all competitions as the Old Firm giants claimed the league title.
While he was unable to dislodge the “immense” first-choice defensive pairing of Carl Starfelt and Cameron Carter-Vickers – as described by Chris Sutton – for much of the season, the £3.6k-per-week gem solidified his status as the third centre-back option, maintaining that role even after Christopher Jullien’s return from injury.
The recent arrival of German defender Moritz Jenz has undoubtedly provided increased competition, although ahead of a campaign that will see the club juggle domestic and European duties once again, having quality depth could prove integral.
Welsh, then, still seemingly has a key role to play next season for the champions, with it not beyond the realms of possibility that he could usurp one of his teammates in the starting XI, having averaged an impressive 2.2 clearances and 1.7 interceptions per game from his ten Scottish Premiership outings last term, recording three clean sheets and winning a solid 63% of his aerial duels.
A player who will seemingly only progress in the coming years, supporters will no doubt be desperate to see his development continue Postecoglou, rather than be shipped out on loan elsewhere.
At present, it looks as if there is no need for concern, with a departure not looking likely.