This article is part of Football FanCast’s Transfer Focus series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent transfer news…
Celtic are one of a few clubs monitoring Aberdeen centre-back Scott McKenna after he handed in a transfer request, according to The Evening Times.
McKenna has asked to leave the Dons and Neil Lennon’s men might join the race for his services, alongside the likes of English Championship sides QPR and Nottingham Forest, per the report.
The Celts were seriously interested in the 22-year-old’s services last summer, with Brendan Rodgers lodging a £3.5m bid for the defender. The offer was swiftly rejected by Derek McInnes, who values his star at £10m, per The Scottish Sun. A bid of £5m was also sent back.
It’s not yet clear if Lennon will join Mark Warburton and Sabri Lamouchi in chasing the defender once more, but with Jozo Simunovic linked with a move away from Parkhead, the Scot is surely in the manager’s sights.
If he were to depart, he would need replacing given the role he’s played this season in his four appearances. The 25-year-old has played every minute of the Champions League qualifiers so far this season as he looks to establish himself ahead of Kristoffer Ajer and Christopher Jullien.
Ajer and Jullien still look as if they could be the first-choice pairing this season though, but they will need support. Nir Bitton has done well as a deputy, but should Simunovic go, Celtic will need to dip into the market to bring in a replacement.
One such replacement who has been scouted by the Celts boss himself is Partizan Belgrade’s Strahinja Pavlovic, as reported by The Daily Record. The 18-year-old has a £4.5m price tag and if he were to be brought to Parkhead for that fee would represent a much smarter investment.
Also, at just 18, he could take his time and learn as a back-up to Ajer and Jullien, whereas McKenna would expect more game time immediately as a full Scotland international.
While it’s important to have quality running through the squad, McKenna’s swollen transfer fee would be an unnecessary outlay for someone likely to only play a supporting role at Celtic Park, and the Bhoys would be better served either keeping Simunovic or replacing him with youth like Pavlovic, rather than splashing out a potential £10m on a benchwarmer.