With the Celtic squad returning to pre-season training in just a few weeks’ time ahead of massive European qualifiers, it is important for new manager Brendan Rodgers to identify potential signings quickly.
Every player has something to prove when new managers come in no matter how established they are in the squad or how well they have played under previous regimes.
With that in mind let’s take a look at an entire team of targets that could arrive at Celtic Park to replace the old Bhoys…
Despite Craig Gordon making over fifty appearances for Celtic in season 2015/16, at 33-years-old he isn’t getting any younger. Main back-up, Logan Bailly, is also 30 years old and Rodgers make want to make a signing that offers competition over the long-term. At just 24 years old and with over 187 appearances in his career already, Scott Bain would be a likely candidate.
Bain was linked with Celtic before Bailly arrived last summer and his stock has only gone up in the year that’s passed. As you can see above, even when his team isn’t playing well he can make fantastic stops against quality opposition.
Scotland U-21 international Stephen Hendrie is said to be keen on a return to Scotland. The Daily Record reported in March that the West Ham left back is a potential replacement for Emilio Izaguirre this summer.
Hendrie broke into the Hamilton first team at just 16 years old and made over 100 appearances for the Accies before signing for the London club on a free last summer. He’s long been linked with a move to Celtic Park and could be the perfect competition for sensation Kieran Tierney.
One of Brendan Rodgers’ priorities this summer could be adding vital experience to the heart of Celtic’s defence. ESPN reported last summer that the Hoops were looking at Fernando Amorebieta as a potential signing. He could be a target again with the likes of Efe Ambrose expected to leave Scotland.
With close to 350 career appearances, 29 of them in European competition, he has the attributes required to make a difference to the Hoops.
Former boss Ronny Deila reportedly travelled to Spain in January to watch defender Aleksandar Pantic play for Eibar. The 24 year old defender has spent the last three years in La Liga playing for parent club Villarreal with moves to Cordoba and Eibar over the last two seasons.
With his contract up this summer, it doesn’t look like there’s a future for him El Madrigal and a move to Glasgow would offer him a bright future.
Swedish media outlets reported that Celtic had sent scouts to watch right back Andreas Vindheim with a view to making a move for the young defender. He signed for Malmo last season – the side that defeated Celtic in Champions League qualifying – but they won’t be taking part in that process this year and the highly rated Norwegian might fancy a move to Glasgow to help the Hoops reach the group stages this time around.
Danish midfielder Thomas Delaney is a key player for FC Copenhagen and has wonseven major honours with the club by the age of 24. With 7 caps for his country he’s starting to make an impact on the international scene too.
With his contract due to expire in 2017 he’s been linked with a move to Celtic as recently as February. With compatriot Erik Sviatchenko loving life in Glasgow, could Delaney see the Hoops as an ideal destination for his first move?
Barnsley’s Josh Brownhill, on loan from Preston North End, has had a fine season in The Tykes’ push for promotion from League One. Both Celtic and Rangers are tracking the player ahead of a potential move to Glasgow this summer.
Out of contract, the 20 year old will have plenty of suitors in the Championship but a move to Celtic could offer his best chance of development as a midfielder.
Republic of Ireland U-21 international will be a player linked with moves to many clubs this summer. Celtic, Manchester United and Liverpool have all been linked with a move for the winger.
He’s part of the Oxford United side that gained promotion to League One this season. With skill, pace and a good final ball he’s potentially a direct replacement for the likes of outgoing James Forrest.
Aiden McGeady will always be a name welcome at Celtic Park, the former Hoops man had a fantastic career at the club before a multi-million pound move to Spartak Moscow.
Unable to find a place at Everton and not exactly becoming a vital player at Sheffield Wednesday on loan, a return to Celtic could be the ideal solution for a winger seeking regular action week in, week out.
After a reported move for him in January, we know the Bhoys are interested.
Wout Weghorst has had a fantastic season in the Netherlands, scoring 14 goals and helping his side Heracles qualify for Europe for the first time in their history.
After a bid for the 6ft5in striker failed to materialise in January, the player reckons there is still interest from the Bhoys this summer.
Both Celtic and Birmingham City are said to be interested in signing Venezuelan Christian Santos who, after scoring 16 goals in Eredivisie this season, is one of the continent’s hottest free agents.
As you can see above his finishing abilities are excellent. With 39 goals over the last two seasons he’s a player who could strike up a formidable partnership with on fire Leigh Griffiths.