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Celtic in the race to sign Rob Atkinson

Celtic’s pre-season recruitment plans are beginning to build up a head of steam.

The Hoops finally have a new manager in Ange Postecoglou and he’s been followed through the door by the signings of Liam Shaw and Joey Dawson.

Now, however, is the time for the Australian to bolster Celtic’s options in the starting XI.

What’s the word?

The Hoops have been busy on the transfer front over the last few days, if you believe reports.

They’ve begun talks with the Portuguese side Famalicao over the signing of Brazilian central defender Riccieli.

However, he’s not the only centre-back on Celtic’s shortlist ahead this summer.

According to The Sun’s Alan Nixon, the Bhoys are interested in signing Oxford United defender Rob Atkinson in the coming months.

Should Celtic sign Atkinson?

No thanks!

No thanks!

Yes please!

Yes please!

The reporter took to Twitter on Sunday to say: “Bristol City. Getting closer to Oxford valuation for Rob Atkinson. Take around £1.6m. Celtic like him too.”

Promising news

With Kristoffer Ajer potentially heading for pastures new this summer, finding another defender will be of great importance to Postecoglou.

Celtic’s defence hardly painted a picture of health last term with the Glaswegian outfit shipping 16 more goals than their fierce rivals Rangers.

What made things worse was a catalogue of errors throughout the campaign. Diego Laxalt and Jonjoe Kenny were liabilities towards the end of the season, while Shane Duffy was returned to Brighton like a damaged delivery after picking up an injury.

All three of those players look as though they won’t be heading back to Celtic. Fortunately for supporters, they could land a more stable and dominant defender in Atkinson.

He only has one year of EFL football under his belt but he was immensely impressive for Oxford United last season.

The 22-year-old was so good that he ended up being named in the League One Team of the Season.

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We'll start with an easier one, who is this Celtic academy player?

His side finished last term in the play-offs but narrowly missed out to Blackpool in the semi-finals. Atkinson was a huge reason for their encouraging term, winning a colossal 6.5 aerial battles per match.

That meant he won 266 aerial duels over the course of the season, 162 more than Celtic’s best performer in that statistic; Ajer.

What’s also so eye-catching about Atkinson is the way he breaks up the play. The young defender produced 2.1 interceptions a game last season, more than any other player in the Hoops squad.

A fee of £1.6m is minimal for a defender who looks so suited to the Scottish game. Postecoglou and Dominic McKay shouldn’t think twice when considering a move.

Based on his qualities, supporters should be delighted if he comes to Parkhead, so Celtic need to get into gear and beat Bristol City to the punch.

AND in other news, Imagine him & Soro: Celtic must sign “exceptional” 22 y/o who crushed Ange this year…

Article title: Celtic in the race to sign Rob Atkinson

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