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Celtic interested in signing M’Baye Niang

Celtic have worked smartly in the transfer window to date, and even if arrivals have taken a while to come through, supporters must be impressed with the acquisitions which have been sealed.

Liel Abada scored on his debut for the Hoops in the Champions League earlier this week and it won’t be too long before we see Kyogo Furuhashi get his first run out in the green and white.

What’s the word?

Postecoglou’s main priority at the moment has to be strengthening their defence. They are still severely limited with options at right-back, while Kristoffer Ajer’s departure and Nir Bitton’s red card in midweek should be cause for concern.

However, with the threat of Odsonne Edouard leaving lingering in the air, adding options to their forward line must also be considered.

According to a tweet from French journalist Sebastien Denis, Rennes attacker M’Baye Niang is a target.

Do you want Niang at Celtic?

Yes please!

Yes please!

No way!

No way!

He said: “As reported in Italy, the Italian team from Venezia is very very hot on M’baye Niang for a dry transfer. Fenerbahce, Celtic, and Shanghai Greenland are interested in the Rennes striker but to a lesser degree.”

An upgrade

When he was coming through the ranks at Milan, Niang was regarded as a player who could challenge the elite. Scout Jacek Kulig once commented: “M’Baye Niang is getting better and better. He surely has the potential to become a world-class player.”

However, his career has never lived up to the dizzy heights expected, touring around Italian and French football without too much success.

The Senegalese forward has found a home for himself at Rennes, though. He has beaten the opposition goalkeeper on 30 occasions for the Ligue 1 side and, at the age of 26, he is now approaching the prime of his career.

Niang scored just once last season but was in the form of his life during the 2019/20 campaign, finding the net on ten occasions.

Capable of playing on the flanks or through the middle, he’d be an upgrade on a fair few players at Parkhead.

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Leigh Griffiths has signed a new deal at Celtic but his future could already be in doubt, with Sunderland interested in securing the Scot’s services on loan.

Albian Ajeti has scored twice in pre-season but, after the form he demonstrated last term – netting six times – you have to question whether he’s up to the required standard.

Furuhashi has 15 goals in the J-League throughout 2021 but time will tell how he settles into life in Scotland.

Niang has already had a spell in British football with Watford, however, so should be well accustomed to the physical demands.

However, it’s in aerial situations where the 6 foot 2 striker could really offer Celtic something different. Last season, he won 1.4 aerial duels per match, adding to the enormous tally of 3.4 per game he recorded the season prior.

If we compare that to the attacking options in Postecoglou’s ranks, the difference is night and day. Last term, only Moi Elyounoussi from an offensive perspective managed a proficient tally when it came to beating players in the air.

He won 1.5 aerial duels per match but you have to go back much further to find the next best tally. For instance, Edouard won just 0.8, while Griffiths and Ajeti only prevailed in 0.5 headed battles.

On that evidence, Niang would be a wise signing. Not only can he score goals, he would also be a prolific threat when the ball is off the ground.

AND in other news, Celtic could repeat their Shane Duffy nightmare by signing “superb” £8m ace…

Article title: Celtic interested in signing M’Baye Niang

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