Champions League contenders Lille are set to bid £5m for Celtic central defender Jozo Simunovic, according to The Scottish Sun.
The French club have already made early contact with Celtic over the 24-year-old defender, per The Scottish Sun. It’s believed that Neil Lennon wants to keep the Croat as he’s become a key player since the Northern Irishman has returned to Parkhead, racking up 30 appearances by the end of the season.
With Kristoffer Ajer continuing to develop and impress as well as the signing of Christopher Jullien, Simunovic faces strong competition this coming season. Lennon also looks like adding another man capable of featuring in central defence, with Hatem Abd Elhamed close to joining the club, per The Scottish Sun.
Simunovic has looked comfortable in the two Champions League qualifiers so far this term, so what should the future hold for the 24 year-old?
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Signing from Dinamo Zagreb for £4m in 2015, the defender has been a regular at Celtic throughout the reigns of Ronny Delia, Brendan Rodgers and Lennon. Yet he’s never quite reached the consistent levels required to earn a big-money move away from Parkhead.
The likes of Moussa Dembele, Stuart Armstrong and potentially Kieran Tierney have all played at such a high-level for Celtic that the club couldn’t take them any further and they moved on.
Simunovic however hasn’t done that yet, and while a move to a side that finished second only behind European giants PSG last season may seem enticing for the feisty centre-back, has he really reached that level?
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The 6 foot 3 stopper could do with a proper breakout year in which he forces big clubs to really take notice of him, and is perfectly placed for this to become that very season, so long as he can either keep one of Ajer or Jullien out of the team or thrive alongside the pair in a back-three.
Most fans will tend to understand when a player proves their worth and earns a big-money move to Europe or the Premier League, so long as they have given their all while at Parkhead and brought the club some silverware.
Quite simply though, Simunovic hasn’t earned it yet.