Celtic need to sign Tommy Elphick once Aston Villa sign Harold Moukoudi

According to French media outlet Foot Mercato, Aston Villa have made a loan bid for highly-rated centre-back Harold Moukoudi, and should they get a deal over the line then Celtic need to snap up Tommy Elphick.

What’s the word, then?

Well, Foot Mercato report that the Championship club are ready to offer the French outfit a €1.1m (£1m) loan fee with a view to a permanent €7.7m (£7m) deal in January, with the 20-year-old potentially signing a four-year contract.

Steve Bruce will have been desperate to add to his centre-back options having lost John Terry over the summer – which has meant that Mile Jedinak has often featured at the heart of the defence alongside James Chester in the opening weeks of the campaign – and the arrival of Moukoudi would only push the already out-of-favour Tommy Elphick further down the pecking order at Villa Park.

Meanwhile, it has been a difficult beginning to the season for Celtic following their Champions League exit and mixed start in the Scottish Premiership, and with last weekend’s winning goalscorer Dedryck Boyata’s future seemingly still in doubt and with the likes of Jozo Simunovic and Jack Hendry struggling for form, Brendan Rodgers may well be prioritising bringing in a new central defender before the deadline on Friday.

Why should he sign Elphick?

It seems clear that the likes of Hendry, Simunovic and Kris Ajer need a calm and experienced head next to them in the coming months, and the 30-year-old would certainly be that.

While he has struggled for minutes at Villa under Bruce, he has proven for both them – at least in the early stages of his time with the Championship club – and by being Bournemouth captain previously the quality and leadership qualities that he has, and there seems little doubt that he could be a success north of the border.

Elphick could certainly take Ajer and Hendry under his wing, and the inclusion of someone like him in the starting line-up would be the difference for them in what could be a close title race this time around.