Celtic transfer update reveals messy approach to right-back hunt

Celtic are looking at three players to potentially fill their right-back position, according to The Scottish Daily Mail (24/07, page 82).

What’s the story?

Stephen McGowan revealed in The Scottish Daily Mail that Celtic are looking at Basel’s Silvan Widmer, Lech Poznan’s Robert Gumny and Real Betis’ Antonio Barragan to fill the space on the right side of their defence. Hatem Abd Elhamed has arrived for £1.6m, but his versatility means another right-back signing could be on the cards.

Widmer arrived in Switzerland last summer for a £4m fee and given he featured 41 times for his new club last season he wouldn’t come cheap. 21-year-old Gumny is valued at £5m according to McGowan, while 32-year-old Barragan only played 24 times in Spain last season for Betis so would likely be the cheapest option.

The report also details the players the Celts have missed out on this summer. Luton’s James Justin and Jack Stacey favoured the Premier League over Parkhead, Huddersfield captain Tommy Smith chose Stoke and bids for Peter Ankersen, George Baldock and Omar Elabdellaoui fizzled out for one reason or another.

What a mess

One thing that screams out amongst the selection of names is the sheer volume of targets, and their different abilities. Celtic stumbling through eight totally different targets knowing full well they need reinforcements doesn’t reflect well on the club.

On top of that, they’ve known that they’d need two new right-backs going into this season from about January, which should’ve given them a headstart – Mikael Lustig and Cristian Gamboa had expiring contracts while Jeremy Toljan was on loan from Germany.

Few clubs will have the benefit of knowing exactly what they need so far in advance. Yet here the Bhoys are scrambling around like it’s deadline day and they’ve just lost their star player unexpectedly.

Abd Elhamed and whoever else is eventually brought in could well be good signings for Lennon, but the process of finding them reeks of a club lacking direction and organisation, especially given the need to get new faces through the door quickly amidst an intense Champions League qualification process.

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